From Bad To Worse: Railhawks shutout Cosmos 1-0

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Raul could not come soon enough for the offensively-inept New York Cosmos.

A packed house of 4,066 fans at WakeMed Park witnessed the Carolina Railhawks battle through two player expulsions to preserve a 1-0 victory over the defending Soccer Bowl champions.

The win extends the Railhawks’ unbeaten run at home to 18 games. It also dishes New York their first back-to-back losses of the “reboot” era while extending the clubs scoreless streak to 233 minutes.

Ty Shipalane opened the scoring — and his personal tally this season — in the 12th minute, beating Cosmos keeper Jimmy Maurer after a dizzying display from playmaker Cesar Elizondo. The midfielder carved his way past Danny Szetela and Marcos Senna, beat Hunter Freeman and found Shipalane in the box. The South African was denied in his first shot but found the back of the net on the second.

New York answered with some offense of their own, but could not get one past Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald. The Japanese keeper stopped Jemal Johnson on two occasions in the first half — the start of a man of the match performance from the diminutive netminder.

New York took to the offensive again in the second, but were quickly derailed by a straight red card. Kupono Low fouled Sebastian Guenzatti and earned a yellow for his infraction. The Uruguayan forward retaliated with a face palm, earning him an early trip to the showers in the 56th minute.

The Railhawks wasted their advantage seven minutes later after Connor Tobin earned himself a second yellow on a dangerous foul. That red would be followed by Low who once again found his name in the books with a dangerous slide tackle in the box on Freeman, earning him a second yellow and expulsion.

New York poured on the pressure in the final stanza, putting Carolina on their heels for the closing 20 minutes of the match. Despite their efforts, Fitzgerald bested the Cosmos at every turn.

New York’s best chance came in the 78th minute with a caroming ball landing in front of striker Mads Stokkelien. The Norwegians blast met the hands of Fitzgerald, and with it, the best opportunity to knot the match.

While the loss is certainly concerning for the Cosmos (2-0-2, 6 pts), a bigger worry may lurk in it’s wake. Team talisman Marcos Senna was mysteriously subbed out of the match at halftime for midfielder Paulo Mendes. His condition is yet to be known.

The Cosmos now face a nine-day rest before their next match — a pivotal encounter against league leading Minnesota United at Shuart Stadium on Monday, May 12th.