It didn't take long for the Cosmos to get thing going in the right direction on Saturday, as minutes into the game, Mads Stokkelien scored a goal that's as good as any we've seen in the World Cup thus far. The Cosmos' onslaught didn't stop there either, as the New York side in green kept pushing for chance after chance during the opening half hour. It was as lopsided a start to the game as I think anyone could have possibly expected, and the fact that the division two side were doing the dominating only made it all the more impressive.
Red Bull started to gain a bit of a foothold at the 35 minute mark, but it was still hard to claim that the side which plays regularly in New Jersey were superior to the Cosmos for even a five-minute stretch during the first 45 minutes. The only real complaint I'd have about the Cosmos' opening half performance was that they should have been up by at least three goals, and had again settled for a 1-0 lead which left the outcome in some doubt.
The second half got underway in much the same fashion as the first half concluded, with the NASL controlling possession, creating chances, but failing to put the game to bed. That all changed with just over 15 minutes to play though, as Mads Stokkelien buried his second golazo of the match, essentially ending this tie and sending the home crowd into a wild celebration. Alessandro Noselli made it 3-0 just minutes later, and this one was over.
Chris Duvall decided he wanted to hit the showers early, and found enough time for a nasty red card challenge before this one was done. He was rightfully sent off, and hopefully that won't be the end of the discipline for that idiotic act. Luckily, Sebastian Guenzatti looked to be uninjured.
Up next for the Cosmos will be the winner of the Philadelphia Union and the Harrisburg City Islanders, with the venue based on who wins that game. Hopefully all of Marcos Senna, Roversio, Diomar Diaz, and Hans Denissen will be fully fit for that one, and the potential of Raul joining the club before that match is just mouth watering. Enjoy the win, and let's hope it's just the start of a long and impressive run.