HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – An unusual feeling made its way through the Minnesota United locker room Saturday night: defeat.
It was the first time in five matches and since Aug. 14 that it had happened.
The first-place New York Cosmos bested the Loons 1-0 at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
“Disappointing because we had plenty of chances in the game that we needed to put in, but brilliant finish for their goal,” United coach Carl Craig said after the loss to the Cosmos (15-6-3).
Cosmos defender David Diosa scored the lone goal in the 32nd minute, off a cross from Ruben Bover. Diosa lifted his head and moved the ball with his first touch over United goalie Sammy Ndjock, who made seven saves in the game, and into the far corner.
“I thought we started the match well, grew a little flat towards the end of the first half, but we came out very well in the second half,” said Craig, whose Loons fell to 10-8-6 while remaining in fourth place and in good position for the NASL postseason. “If not for some world-class saves from Jimmy Maurer, tonight’s result would have been different.”
Maurer, the Cosmos goalkeeper, stopped all six shots he faced, including a barrage in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
During that stretch, a Lance Laing free kick went just wide and Christian Ramirez’s bicycle kick beat Maurer but was just about a foot over the crossbar.
With eight matches to play, the Loons are back at home Saturday vs. the Ottawa Fury.