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SportsSoccer

Cosmos beat Strikers, snap four-game winless streak

The Cosmos celebrate a goal by forward Danny

The Cosmos celebrate a goal by forward Danny Mwanga during the first half of a game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 6, 2014. Credit: Brad Penner

The Cosmos on Saturday night regained some of that lost swagger that helped them win the North American Soccer League championship last season.

Dominating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for a good part of the game, they registered their first multigoal home win since their season opener in a 2-0 victory before 3,626 at Shuart Stadium.

Danny Mwanga and Marcos Senna scored for the Cosmos, who broke a four-game winless streak at home (0-2-2), dating to a 1-0 win June 8 against the Ottawa Fury. Goalkeeper Jim Maurer was sharp as he recorded his ninth shutout.

"It was very important for us to get over that hump a little bit," said right back Hunter Freeman, who set up the first goal.

The Cosmos (3-3-4, 13 points) moved past the Strikers (3-4-3, nine) into fifth place in the fall standings and solidified their third-place status in the combined standings.

"Let this be a push for us to keep the momentum going," Senna said. "Our objective is to be part of the playoffs."

The Cosmos took their first lead at home in five games, or since the Fury game. Freeman lofted a 40-yard free kick to Carlos Mendes, who headed the ball to Mwanga. The forward's volley deflected off Rafael Alves and the left post. Goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky caught the ball, but it had crossed the line for Mwanga's first goal since he was loaned to the team by Colorado.

"Tonight we showed from the beginning we worked to get back to our old ways," Freeman said.

Senna, the Cosmos midfield general who made his first start in three games because of a groin injury, converted a penalty kick in the 30th minute after an Alves handball in the area.

"I feel better, not 100 percent," Senna said. "I was able to play the 90 minutes and I am not feeling any soreness or discomfort."

Last week, the Cosmos squandered a two-goal lead and settled for a 2-2 draw at the Indy Eleven. They made sure history did not repeat itself.

"We were able to manage the game," Mwanga said. "Hopefully, we can built from that."

New York Sports