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Cosmos' home unbeaten streak ends at 25

Cosmos midfielder Jemal Johnson reacts as his shot

Cosmos midfielder Jemal Johnson reacts as his shot against the San Antonio Scorpions is saved during the second half of a game at Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Credit: Brad Penner

You can't be unbeaten in them all.

For the first time, the Cosmos tasted defeat at Hofstra University Saturday night.

Their 25-game home unbeaten streak, which went back to 1972, was snapped by the San Antonio Scorpions in a disappointing 1-0 loss.

The Cosmos had forged an 18-0-7 record at Shuart Stadium before the Scorpions discovered a way to solve them: score early and defend like hell.

San Antonio (2-1) managed to hold off the Cosmos (2-1), who outshot the visitors 20-5 and who finished with a 12-1 corner-kick advantage before a crowd of 4,130.

"I leave this game with a better feeling than when we won 4-0 [in the season opener] because we played good soccer today," Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. "If we played this game nine times more, I don't think the result would be the same."

Right fullback Hunter Freeman agreed. "It's evident that we were the better team," he said. "We dominated and created chances, had good service, got on the end of it but could not get that [goal]."

The Cosmos set the modern NASL shutout streak at 372 minutes as they allowed the Scorpions to strike in the 15th minute. Danny Barrera broke through the right side and fired a shot that goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer saved. The rebound came to Eric Hassli, and the former Vancouver Whitecaps designated player slotted it home from 6 yards.

"It was kind of a fluky goal," Freeman said. "Jimmy makes a great save and we're kind of scrambling and it falls right to Hassli and that's going to be a guy who's not going to miss from there wide open."

San Antonio was the last team to score on the Cosmos, in New York's 2-1 win last Oct. 26, which clinched a spot in Soccer Bowl.

The Scorpions were content to defend, many times putting the entire team behind the ball while looking for a rare counterattack.

"They did a good job of bodying guys so even if they got enough headers, they couldn't get enough power or it threw them off enough over the goal or wide," Freeman said.

They also did a good job of shutting down the Cosmos' midfield general, Marcos Senna, putting two men on him and making life difficult by fouling him several times.

Senna wouldn't blame the officiating, saying through a translator that they "did a very good job." He also praised the Scorpions, saying: "They had it on their minds and they got away with it. We don't want to take away anyone's merits, but we understand that happens to the best of us and we don't win all the time."

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