Darwin Espinal scored in the first half to give the Cosmos the lead. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
PONTIAC, Mich. — The New York Cosmos remained undefeated in NPSL Members Cup action, recording a 2-0 victory over the Michigan Stars at Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Saturday night.
Midfielder Darwin Espinal and forward Aly Hassan scored for the Cosmos, who improved to 2-0-1 and seven points while the Stars (1 point) fell to 0-1-1.
Espinal scored his first goal of the Members Cup campaign, firing home Bledi Bardic’s right-wing feed from the penalty spot to give the Cosmos a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.
The Cosmos dominated possession for huge stretches of the second half and their persistence was rewarded in the 59th minute behind a brilliant Hassan strike from the top edge of the penalty area for a two-goal advantage. It was the second game in a row that Hassan scored.
Goalkeeper Santiago Castano recorded his second shutout of the season as his goals-against average dropped to 0.66. He made several vital stops to keep the Cosmos in the match, participating in the opening half. With the game only three minutes old, Castano parried a Michigan shot away for a corner kick and stopped a charging Michigan player from getting a scoring opportunity by kicking the ball out of bounds. In the 87th minute, he denied an 11th-hour effort by the Stars to record the clean sheet.
Both of the Cosmos’ wins this young season have come on the road as the kicked off the 10-game season with a 1-0 triumph over Chattanooga FC on Aug. 10.
The Cosmos return home to host Napa Valley 1839 FC at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.