By DAN KARELL
After allowing just one goal in two matches, the New York Cosmos had a performance they’d rather forget.
In the driving wind and rain in Cary, North Carolina, the Cosmos finished with nine players in a 3-0 defeat to the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday night at WakeMed Sporting Park. It’s the first time this season that the Cosmos have been defeated, and the second match in a row where they failed to score.
RailHawks forward Brian Shriver increased his season scoring total to 11 goals with a brace, the first goal coming just eight minutes into the match. Despite holding the majority of the possession to that point, the Cosmos allowed RailHawks midfielder Ty Shipalane to burst up the field on a counter attack, feeding teammate Zack Schilawski and then Shriver who finished from close range.
The chippyness that defined the match began to take hold soon after. Referee Mark Kadlecik was quick to go to the book on a number of fouls between both teams, slowing down any rhythm of the match. In total, eight players received yellow cards and three saw red cards.
Shriver scored his second of the match in the 28th minute when he took advantage of a poor back pass by Cosmos defender Korey Veeder, rounding goalkeeper Kyle Reynish and finishing into an empty net for his league leading 11th of the season.
By halftime, both teams had been reduced to ten men. Cosmos midfielder Joseph Nane was shown two yellow cards within seconds of each other for a foul and then dissent towards the referee, while in the 45th minute, RailHawks midfielder and captain Austin Da Luz let his emotions get the best of him with a strong challenge on Cosmos right back Hunter Freeman.
The Cosmos brought in Danny Szetela and Roversio at halftime but still failed to take advantage of any opportunities, as the RailHawks stout defense kept Marcos Senna away from goal and Ayoze constantly moving backwards.
In the 89th minute, the RailHawks added their third of the night from the penalty spot after substitute Cesar Elizondo was taken down in the box. Substitute Brian Ackley stepped up and fired home into the upper 90 to effectively put the game away. A minute later, Cosmos youngster Sebastian Guenzatti was shown a straight red card for a tackle from behind, ending his night and leaving a sour taste at the end of a scoreline that wasn’t indicative of the Cosmos performance.