A goal from French forward Eric Hassli gave the visiting San Antonio Scorpions 1-0 victory over New York Cosmos at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday evening.
Hassli followed up forward Danny Berrera’s saved shot and headed the rebound past New York goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to give San Antonio a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute to also end the Cosmos’ 13-game unbeaten streak.
Barrera sliced into the box, cut inside Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes and put his attempt on target. Maurer made the save at the edge of the six-yard box, but Hassli pounced on the rebound and nodded it home.
The goal ended the Cosmos shutout streak at 372 minutes, a modern day NASL record. It dated back to a 2-1 win over San Antonio on Oct. 26, 2013.
One minute from halftime, Mads Stokkelien nearly equalized for the Cosmos, which dominated possession, but the Norwegian’s blast from 20 yards went wide of the far post.
The visitors nearly doubled their advantage in the 55th minute, but Walter Restrepo put his 30-yard free kick off the crossbar.
In the 62nd minute, Danny Szetela put a low shot on target, but San Antonio goalkeeper David Bingham dived to his left to parry the shot away for the Cosmos seventh corner.
Two minutes later, Jemal Johnson had an open shot, but put it off the outside netting.
In the final minute of second-half stoppage time, Marcos Senna put a 25-yard free kick off the San Antonio wall and Ayoze’s subsequent free throw deflected over the net.
"The guys executed the plan with discipline and precision to earn a well deserved win on the road against a tough opponent," said Scorpions coach Alen Marcina. "We'll look to continue improving and growing as a team, and it'll be fantastic to play in front of our home crowd for this upcoming stretch. "
Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese commented on the decisive Scorpions goal: "Jimmy (Maurer) had a good save as well on that play but at the end the ball went exactly to the head of their player who scored. Those things are going to happen. I just think it could've been a little bit better in our final third and it's a game that I think if we win 2-1, 3-1, I think we'd be talking about how well we played at the end of the game."
The Cosmos pressed for the equalizer, had a 21-5 shots advantage, but the defending Soccer Bowl champions were unable to find the back of the net and suffered their second loss in their reincarnation.
The loss is first at home by the Cosmos since they were beaten 2-1 by Golden Bay Earthquakes on September 12, 1984. It was also the Cosmos first-ever loss at Hofstra University, snapping a 25-match unbeaten streak dating back to 1972.