It was a record setting night for the New York Cosmos, who welcomed the Carolina Railhawks and then steamrolled their visitors 6-1 Saturday night at James M. Shuart Stadium.
According to the Cosmos, the six total goals and five second half goals each are club records for the team’s modern era that dates to its North American Soccer League reboot in 2013.
While the scoreboard at the final whistle tilted heavily in New York’s favor, the match did not start well for the home side. Six minutes in, Carolina’s Matt Fondy would give the Railhawks an early 1-0 lead after taking advantage of Cosmos defensive lapse.
However, the visitor’s lead did not last long.
New York’s Andrés Flores connected with Juan Arango just outside the Railhawks 18-yard box, and Arango would beat Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald to tie the game 1-1.
While the Cosmos would begin to grab control of the match as the first half progressed, the game would stay deadlocked at 1 at halftime. Both teams in the first 45 had goals waved off because of offside calls.
The second half started with the Cosmos again dominating play, but while New York ramped up the pressure on the Carolina backline, it was unable to finish.
“I think in the second half the team came with a different mentality,” said Giovanni Savarese, Cosmos head coach. “I’m very proud of the guys for the way they came to play. This was not only a good result for us, it was some quality play from the players.”
The Cosmos would take the lead in the 58th minute as Arango would score his second of the match off a rebound from a Sebastián Guenzatti shot. Three minutes later New York would extend its lead to 3-1 as forward Jairo Arrieta would score the first of his two goals of the game. This tally was a 25-yard floater that kissed the bottom of the crossbar and slid into the Carolina net.
The Cosmos’ final three goals were scored by Flores (79th minute), Arrieta (82nd minute) and Guenzatti (90 + 3). Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made two saves.
In the match, New York outshot Carolina 23-8 and held a shots-on-goal advantage of 14-3.
“I was content with was the reaction of the team, making sure that we continued to play,” Savarese said. “We didn’t stop looking for another goal, and we kept confidence going forward.”