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NY Cosmos beats Ft Lauderdale Strikers in front of record crowd

Official release from Fort Lauderdale Strikers

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers had a five-game unbeaten streak snapped up by The New York Cosmos after falling 2-0 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A club-record 7,653 fans filled the stadium to witness the first match between the sides in South Florida since May 4, 1983. This marks the highest attendance for the Strikers since their rebirth in 2011.

The match did not go according to script for the hosts, who had an opportunity to go to the top of the standings with a win. Cosmos attacker Diomar Díaz put in a man-of-the-match performance for the visitors, scoring both goals in the 2-0 Cosmos victory.

Just ten minutes into the match Díaz opened the scoring after heading past Richard Sánchez in the Strikers goal. The Venezuelan got a brace after capitalizing on a defensive error by the Strikers.

Cosmos left back Ayoze provided a pinpoint cross for the first goal. His ball from the left found the head of the unmarked Díaz alone in the six-yard box. The second goal was scored on a rebound after Sánchez had done well to save an initial shot by Stefan Dimitrov, but was out of position for the second attempt.

"We weren't aggressive enough in the first half," said Strikers assistant coach Raoul Voss. "If you give this team too much space, they'll punish you."

It went from bad to worse for the Strikers after going a goal down. Stéphane Guillaume was injured in a challenge with Marcos Senna and had to be stretchered off the field in the 21st minute.

Fort Lauderdale looked to have pulled a goal back in the 67th minute of the match when a through ball slipped Carlos Salazar behind the Cosmos defense to beat Reynish with a chipped effort. The assistant referee had his flag raised and the goal did not stand.

The hosts threw everything at the Cosmos in the second half, forcing Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Renish into a series of fine saves, but the breakthrough never came.

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