Hempstead, N.Y. -- The New York Cosmos finally found a way to win at home in the Fall season.
After failing to produce a win at home, the Cosmos defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-0 to record their first win at Shuart Stadium since the spring season finale on June 8. Danny Mwanga snuck one by Strikers' keeper Kamil Contofalsky in the 17th minute and Marcos Senna scored in the 30th minute off a penalty kick.
"I think it was very important," Mwanga said about the Cosmos first home win. "Since the last game we did a lot of positive things. We got ahead 2-0 and we're very unfortunate tie that game. So we knew coming in, at home in front of our fans. We got two good goals in the first half and we were able to manage the game for the rest of the game. I think it was very important and hopefully we can build on that."
The Cosmos ran the gauntlet for the 90 minute affair. The Cosmos outshot the Strikers 16-8, led in shots on goal 7-4 and held the edge in possession percentage 51 percent to 49 percent.
New York jumped on the board 17 minutes into the match. Mwanga scored his first goal as a member of the Cosmos to put the home team ahead 1-0. "It was a great team effort... Carlos fed the ball back and I was able to hit it like a volly with my left foot. I think the goalie struggled to see it late and I was very fortunate he didn't touch it, and it went in," Mwanga said of his goal.
Senna's PK goal came after Rafael Alves was called for a handball in the box. Senna blasted the shot past Contofalsky for the two goal advantage.
It was the first time in the fall that the Cosmos have recorded two goals in a home contest.
Saturday's victory couldn't have come at a more crucial time. The Cosmos are fighting for every point they can get their hands on, especially against rival Fort Lauderdale. The Strikers were ahead of the Cosmos in the Fall season standings, but were in front in the combined standings.
With Saturday's win the Cosmos moved in front of the Strikers in the Fall Standings.
"We knew the importance of this game," Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese said following the win. "The strikers are direct competitor to qualify to the playoff and they've been coming from some good results. But I thought today the difference was our team was able to understand tactically what we needed to do and we preformed very well. Especially in the second half it wasn't pretty, but we we matched up strong and we were able to score two good goals.
The Cosmos return to Shuart Stadium next Saturday for contest against the Atlanta Silverbacks.