Opening night in the North American Soccer League has come to a close, and the New York Cosmos will be looking at the results from Saturday evening and smiling. In a ten match spring season, the importance of getting off to a fast start can't be understated, and with three of the first four matches ending in draws, a victory on Sunday will see the Cosmos level with just one other club atop the NASL table, and that lone victor from Saturday only managed a one-goal victory.
Let's get right to it and see what transpired during the first round of fixtures, shall we?
Carolina RailHawks 2 - Minnesota United 1
Perhaps the best result as far as Cosmos fans are concerned, the MLS-bound club from Minnesota were widely believed to be the biggest threat to dethrone the champs this season. United got off to a very fast start in the first match of the campaign, with Christian Ramirez finding the back of the net just two minutes in. Carolina answered quickly through Tiyi Shipalane, however, and Austin Da Luz scored the winner in the 26th minute of play.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1 - Miami FC 1
Dario Cvitanich scored the expansion club's first ever goal from the penalty spot, and for most of the match, it looked like that goal would be enough to see Alessandro Nesta's side earn their first victory. Fort Lauderdale were awarded a penalty of their own in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, which Maicon Santos converted to snatch a home draw from the club's first South Florida derby.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 0 - Indy Eleven 0
Tampa Bay dominated possession, shots, and basically every other facet of the match, but were unable to find the back of the net in order to take all three points. Eleven fans can probably feel very, very lucky to have come away with a point.
Rayo OKC 0 - FC Edmonton 0
Saturday's final match was another one-sided affair which resulted in a scoreless draw. Like Tampa, Rayo OKC were unable to turn huge advantages in possession and shot into goals, and while the inaugural crowd was likely thrilled with what they saw on the pitch, they'll likely feel like they should have won the game.