The San Antonio Scorpions defeated the Cosmos 3-1 to open the 2014 NASL Fall Season.
Hempstead, NY(NYCosmos.com) – A first-half brace by Rafael Castillo helped lift the San Antonio Scorpions to a 3-1 win over the New York Cosmos in the opening match of the North American Soccer League fall season Saturday night at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
In the loss, the Cosmos matched the amount of goals conceded in the entire Spring Season, while San Antonio won its fifth straight road match in NASL play.
Referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot after Castillo was knocked down in the box by Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who dived to his left and got a hand on the Colombian midfielder’s attempt. But it went in off the post to put the visitors in front, 1-0, in the 41st minute.
Castillo netted his second goal in the second minute of first-half stoppage time when he lashed a free kick off the undersize of crossbar, the post and in to give San Antonio a two-goal halftime lead.
Hunter Freeman pulled the Cosmos back a goal in the 57th minute, blasting a 26-yard free kick over the Scorpions wall and into the side netting.
The fullback nearly leveled the match, but his lob from 35 yards sailed just over the crossbar in the 63rd minute.
Seconds later, Maurer was again pressed into action after a defensive miscue from Ayoze gave Walter Restrepo an open header in front of goal. But the Cosmos keeper made a critical reactionary save.
San Antonio regained its two-goal advantage in the 69th minute when Sainey Touray ran onto a ball by Billy Forbes and chipped it over Maurer, who was off his line, to put the Scorpions in front, 3-1.
The Cosmos look to bounce back on the road July 20 against the Ottawa Fury FC.