The New York Cosmos remained atop of the NASL Spring Season standings after defeating Jacksonville Armada FC 2-0 at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium Sunday evening.
Forward Jairo Arrieta scored his first Cosmos goal and midfielder Adam Moffat scored his second in as many matches.
Given the starting role up top for a second straight match, Arrieta opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played a ball deep inside Jacksonville Armada FC’s territory that midfielder Juan Arango headed into space for Arrieta. The Costa Rican did not squander his chance, blasting a one-timer off the body of Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo that trickled past the goal line for the go-ahead tally. Arrieta earned Emirates Man of the Match honors, while Maurer recorded his second consecutive shutout.
“We were fighting, and we found a goal in the first half that gave us some oxygen,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese after the match.
“I’ve tried to repay the coaching staff for trusting me,” Arrieta said. “Juan [Arango] and I have formed a partnership where he moves ahead of me or vice-versa to try to confuse our opponent.”
Halftime substitute Adam Moffat scored next to give New York some breathing room. In the 55th minute Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjčar, making his first Cosmos start, found a wide-open Moffat at the edge of the penalty area. The Scottish midfielder welcomed the look with a blast to the far side and past Gallardo.
“The second half was different. We looked more like ourselves,” Savarese said. “The clean sheet for us was very important.”
“It’s great coming in and making an impact,” said Moffat. “To have some effect on the game by scoring felt good.”
Arrieta and Arango nearly combined for a third Cosmos goal in the 90th minute, when Arrieta weaved through defenders and left the ball for Arango. The ensuing shot was partially blocked and caromed off the crossbar.
With the victory the Cosmos improve to 2-0-0 on the young NASL season, remaining atop the Spring Season standings with six points and a three-goal advantage on the Carolina RailHawks in goal differential. The team will travel to Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis next to take on Indy Eleven this Saturday, April 16. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.