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Cosmos Earn First Victory of the Fall Season in win over the Strikers

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Two goals in the first half helped the New York Cosmos secure a 2-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikes and gave them their first win of the fall season.

The Cosmos nearly opened the scoring in the 1st minute after a shot rang off the crossbar and then a cross from Walter Restrepo to Raul was headed wide of the net. New York finally found the back of the net in the 27th minute off a floater from Hunter Freeman. Freeman's shot was just out of the reach of Strikers' keeper Josh Ford.

Leo Fernandes gave the Cosmos a two goal advantage in the 43rd minute. A pass from Raul sent Fernandes streaking up the field and his shot trickled past Ford.

The second half produced several scoring chances for both sides. The Strikers began countering in the 66th minute and Freeman blocked a pair of Fort Lauderdale shots inside the penalty box in the 72nd minute. Several minutes later Danny Szetela fired a shot that rang off the post and Lucky Mkosana scored off a rebound, but the play was called offsides and the goal did not count. The Strikers found themselves in a similar situation seconds later after Jose Angulo scored, but he too was called offsides negating the goal.

Ruben Bover had a scoring chance in the 86th minute, but his chance hit the side of the net.

Sunday afternoon's win was the Cosmos first win in NASL play since May 23 against the San Antonio Scorpions. It was also the last time New York had won a home game, excluding the U.S. Open Cup.

The Cosmos held a 56-44 advantage in possession percentage, but were outshot by the visitors from Florida 13-8. The Strikers also held the advantage in corners 3-2.

The 2-0 win was the first of three games that will be played in the span of seven days. The Cosmos will host Minnesota United FC on Wednesday and face the Strikers again on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.