NASL Rewind: Red cards fly as Cosmos stay on top

Defending champ New York Cosmos took a big step toward winning the NASL spring title, which guarantees a 2016 championship semifinal spot, with a 1-0 win over Rayo OKC, three of whose played were red-carded.

NASL Week 9 Results:
Ottawa 1 (Haworth 8) Ft. Lauderdale 2 (Maicon Santos 8, Gentile 65)
Att.: 5,034
Jacksonville 1 (Bahner 30) Indy Eleven 1 (Braun 73)
Att.: 4,412
New York 1 (Szetela 54) Rayo OKC 0
Att.: 4,068
Miami FC 1 (Martinez 67) Edmonton 0
Att.: 1,229
Minnesota 0 Tampa Bay 2 (Cole 42, Avila 47)
Att.: 7,915

The Cosmos, with a four-point cushion atop the standings, control their own destiny. A win next week at Ft. Lauderdale in their 10th and final game of the spring season will clinch the title. Second-place Indy Eleven has a game in hand, as do fourth-place Minnesota and fifth-place Carolina.

NASL Standings: New York Cosmos 18; Indy Eleven 14, FC Edmonton 14; Minnesota United 13; Carolina RailHawks 13; Tampa Bay Rowdies 12; Fort Lauderdale Strikers 12; Rayo OKC 8; Ottawa Fury FC 8, Miami FC 6, Jacksonville Armada 5.

NASL 2016:
Full Standings | Schedule

Danny Szetela scored the Cosmos’ 53rd minute gamewinner to give them a perfect record at home this spring season. Rayo OKC’s league leading scorer Michel was ejected in the 36th minute. Billy Forbes and Georgios Samaras got red-carded in the waning minutes as Rayo OKC finished with eight men.

Leading Scorers
5 Michel (Rayo OKC)
4 Christian Ramirez (Minnesota), Maicon Santos (Ft. Lauderdale), 3 Juan Arrango (New York), Dario Cvitanich (Miami), Austin Da Luz (Carolina), Ben Speas (Minnesota), Eamon Zayed (Indy Eleven).

NASL newcomer Miami FC won its first game and ended a four-game losing streak thanks to Cuban Ariel Martinez’s goal in a 1-0 win over FC Edmonton.

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