CARY — Even with nine men on the field for the last 22 minutes, the Carolina RailHawks increased their home unbeaten streak on Saturday.
The RailHawks defeated reigning North American Soccer League champion New York Cosmos 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park, making it 18 straight home matches without a loss.
Cesar Elizondos hard work and breakaway gave the RailHawks the only goal of the game in the first half. With the Cosmos in Carolinas attacking third, Elizondo fought the ball off a New York defender and started a 3-on-2 break.
With a head full of steam, the 26-year-old Costa Rican midfielder juked one defender before laying a pass for Shipalane. Shipalanes first shot was saved by goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer but he tallied the 12th minute goal on the rebound.
Though there was no assist for Elizondo, there was no doubt who created the chance.
The goal sparked the RailHawks, who were playing on their heels to that moment.
Carolina had a few more counterattack opportunities but went into halftime still up 1-0.
In the 56th minute, the Cosmos went to 10 men after Sebastian Guenzatti was sent off. The replay showed that while tangled with Carolinas Kupono Low, Guenzattis right hand connected with Lows face, knocking him to the pitch.
In the 63rd, a second yellow card for Carolinas Connor Tobin made it 10-on-10.
Low, who received his first yellow in the skirmish with Guenzatti, got his second yellow just five minutes later. The RailHawks were down to just nine players against New Yorks 10.
RailHawks sub Uriah Bentick hurt his ankle in the stoppage time, which meant Carolina ended the game with eight.
The Cosmos had plenty of tries on goal, but goalkeeper Akira Fitgerald was up to the task.
After a 4-0 road loss last week, the RailHawks switch in the back line. Toni Stahl and Tobin switched spots, putting Tobin at right back and Stahl in the center.
Also, Mike Grella started a the second forward position instead of Enzo Martinez.
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