BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Cosmos’ home woes continued big time Saturday night as they dropped a 2-0 decision to North Carolina FC at MCU Park.
Austin Da Luz scored one goal and set up another by Renan Gorne in the North American Soccer League game.
New York ended a disastrous homestand in tatters at 0-1-2, earning only two points out of a possible nine over the past week.
In their past two encounters, they wound up with draws — a 3-3 deadlock against Jacksonville Armada FC Sunday and a 2-2 tie with the San Francisco Deltas Wednesday night.
This is where they stand entering Saturday night’s 7 p.m. encounter with third-place North Carolina FC (2-2-6, 12 points fall, 8-9-9. 33 overall):
The defeat left the Cosmos in seventh place in the fall season standings with a 1-3-6 mark and nine points. In the overall standings, the Cosmos are in fifth place with a 7-7-12 mark and 33 points. North Carolina (12 points fall, 36 combined) improved to 3-2-6 and 9-9-9.
Moreover, the Cosmos fell below .500 at home this season at 3-4-7 at home, earning only 16 points out of possible 42.
“I just want for us to be able to go through this moment of difficulty,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “It was just a difficult game today. We allowed two goals going in, and we were never in the game 100 percent. We worked very hard. I don’t know if the guys were tired from the two previous matches, but they [NCFC] had us in control.”
The visitors wasted no time to get on the board, as Gorne slotted home the opening goal in the 12th minute. Da Luz played a perfect cross from the left flank to an unmarked Gorne who was in acres of space in the Cosmos attacking half. Gorne took a touch and made no mistake on the finish to beat the goalkeeper for his third goal of the year.
The NCFC defense limited the Cosmos in the attack. The hosts only placed one shot on goal during the first half, which Brian Sylvestre covered with a diving save in the 36th minute.
NCFC doubled its lead in stoppage time of the first half, as a quick attack caught the Cosmos off guard in the final third. Nazmi Albadawi got free on the right flank and sent a pass across the face of goal. Da Luz found the end of the cross and fired a strike into the open net from close range for his first goal of the season.
“We’ve just got to continue to believe,” Savarese said. “There’s still plenty of games to make it to the playoffs, and I think that’s the most important part right now.”