It was only fitting that on the night the New York Cosmos retired Giorgio Chinaglia's historic number nine that an Italian Striker scored the Cosmos only goal of the match.
Alessandro Noselli's goal in the sixth minute of New York's contest against the Ottawa Fury on sunday secured the 1-0 win. Mads Stokkelien was able to make a strong pass -- after falling down -- to Noselli, who was breaking towards the net, and chipped it past Ottawa keeper Devala Gorrick.
"Perfect ball," Noselli said when asked about the goal. "Great, great pass. I don't say nothing because it's perfect and I'm happy because it's my first goal this year... I'm very happy for today."
The 1-0 victory capped the Cosmos spring NASL season, which saw them go 6-1-2 and finish with 19 points, but miss out on clinching the spring title. Those hopes were dashed the previous night after Minnesota United and the Tampa Bay Rowdies ended their match in a 3-3 draw.
In the Cosmos win on Sunday -- in front of a crowd of 6,496 -- the home team held the edge in possession leading Ottawa 52 percent to 48 percent. New York also held an edge in shots, 14-8, and in corners, 6-3.
Prior to the match the Cosmos honored the late Giorgio Chinaglia by holding a ceremony on the field with members of his family and former members of the original club. His number nine is now the only other number besides Pele's that the organization has retired.
Noselli understood the significance that Chinaglia had on the Cosmos and was honored that he was the one to score for New York.
"It's a perfect day for me because Giorgio Chinaglia was one of the best players in the Cosmos history," he said. " And for me scoring on the same day of them retiring his jersey is a great thing and I'm very happy to score also the goal today for the win. I think it's a perfect finale game for me because we win and I scored on Giorgio Chinaglia day."
Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese also appreciated the significance of an Italian scoring on the same day the team honored the late Italian soccer star Chinaglia.
"It's beautiful hows things work sometimes," he said. "An Italian scored on Giorgia Chinaglia's day. And one thing we spoke to the players is to honor Giorgia. First of all because he was a winner. He was an important part of this organization and the least thing we could do to honor him is to give 100 percent. And I think the guys did today. Having Noselli score the goal today on a good game -- as he did -- it just put a good end to this game today."