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Cosmos explode after awful first half, defeating the Strikers 3-0

With the win, the hunt for the spring season title will go down to the final week

Mike Zarrilli

The Cosmos had about as poor a showing as they could have during the first half of Saturday's game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, but played far better during the second 45 minutes and came away from their trip with three more huge points. In the end, goals from Mads Stokkelien, Jimmy Ockford, and Danny Szetela proved to be the difference in the game.

The Strikers were the better side throughout the first half, and could have easily been up by multiple goals with some more composed finishing during the first half. The Cosmos settled down a bit as the first 45 minutes wore on, but the opening stanza was about as poor a showing as I can remember from this Cosmos team.

Things looked a little brighter early on in the second half, but the game came to a sudden halt when the lights at Lockhart Stadium stopped working. When they finally came back on after a delay that felt like it took hours, everything went the Cosmos' way.

Mads Stokkelien opened the scoring in the 64th minute, after he was brought down inside the area to earn a penalty kick. Despite guessing correctly on where the Norwegian was going with the attempt, Oka Nikolav had no chance to keep the spot kick out of the net.

Jimmy Ockford will be credited with doubling the lead in the 83rd minute, when a blast from Joseph Nane deflected off of him and past the Strikers' keeper. Danny Szetela then closed the scoring in the 85th minute with a shot from 15 yards out.

Unfortunately, Minnesota United also won on Saturday night, meaning the the Cosmos will need a win and a Minnesota loss next weekend in order to lift the spring season crown. They'll be hosting the Ottawa Fury in their final NASL game before the World Cup.