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Mendes Scores Twice in Cosmos' 4-2 Victory over FC Edmonton

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Carlos Mendes accepts the honors of Man of the Match after a two goal performance
Carlos Mendes accepts the honors of Man of the Match after a two goal performance
New York Cosmos

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- It has been quite a week for New York Cosmos' captain Carlos Mendes; The defender welcomed a son into the world on Thursday, made Page Six on Friday and scored his first two goals of the NASL Spring Season on Mother's Day to lead the Cosmos to a 4-2 victory.

It only took two minutes for Mendes to make his mark on the game and for the Cosmos to take a 1-0 lead over FC Edmonton. Lucky Mkosana got a piece of the ball and forced keeper Matt VanOekel to make a save, but Mendes put home the rebound.

The Emirates Airlines Man of the Match found himself in great positioning once again in the 36th minute. Mendes headed the ball past VanOekel to give the Cosmos a 3-1 lead with nine minutes left in the first half.

"The wins huge and it's important for the team, but when you can get two goals," Mendes said after the match. "And you don't score too many -- on mothers day and my son just being born -- it's an incredible feeling. Having my mom in the stands was awesome. It's special all around and a great win."

The Cosmos also had offensive contributions from soccer legend Raul, who scored his first goal at Shuart Stadium, and Lucky Mkosana. Raul's goal came off a bizarre sequence that saw Danny Szetela hit the cross bar twice before the ball was put home by Raul.

"I've only seen that in FIFA 15," Szetela said about the sequence that led to the Cosmos' second goal of the match in the 23rd minute. "I think I'm going to put that clip up on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, I've seen it once or twice on a different clip of crazy soccer things that happen, but I've never seen it happen like that in person."

Mkosana scored on a breakaway to record his second goal of the season. Edmonton scored in the 18th minute off a penalty kick and again in the 74th minute to make cut the Cosmos lead to 4-2.

The Mother's day victory puts New York five points ahead of Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in the NASL standings heading into a tough contest against Carolina next week.

"This was three points for us," Cosmos' head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "It was important for us to continue to accumulate points. Of course if it would have been 4-1 it would have finished strong as we started the game, but I wasn't content with the final part of the match. But other than that, I think it was a very good win and a very good match.

"We'll take it one game at time. Right now the guys are going to celebrate Mother's Day and then Tuesday we'll start working again for next weekend."

The Cosmos face the Carolina RailHawks next Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7 p.m.