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Rayo OKC Clinches Final Postseason Berth Thanks to Cosmos Victory

October 29, 2016 - North American Soccer League (NASL) News Release

NEW YORK - U.S. youth international Eric Calvillo scored his first professional goal as the New York Cosmos defeated Minnesota United, 1-0, at NSC Stadium on Saturday night to eliminate the Loons from postseason contention and send Rayo OKC to The Championship, the league's four-team postseason tournament.

The loss by Minnesota means that Rayo advances to the North American Soccer League (NASL) postseason, where they will meet top-seeded New York next Saturday. Rayo has stormed into the postseason on the strength of a four-game winning streak and a nine-game unbeaten streak. The club finishes up its Fall Season slate against Indy Eleven tomorrow night.

Indy, the No. 2 seed, will host FC Edmonton, the No. 3 seed, in the other semifinal on Saturday afternoon.

Minnesota (W6-7D-9L, 25 points Fall; 11-8-13, 41 Combined) had several chances early in the game before the Cosmos began to assert themselves. Only two minutes into the game, a point-blank shot by Danny Cruz was blocked by the New York defense. Cruz had another opportunity in the 27th minute, but he powered a right-footed shot wide of Jimmy Maurer's goal.

New York (14-5-3, 47 Fall; 20-5-7, 65 Combined) had two golden chances in a three-minute span midway through the first half. On the first, Yasmani Duk's shot from six yards on the left was pushed wide by goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock. Minutes later, Ayoze's corner from the right found David Ochieng at the far post for a header that was again saved by Ndjock.

The Cosmos put the Loons behind the eight ball three minutes into the second half when Calvillo scored in his first professional start. Ayoze hit a right-footed cross that found the 18-year-old midfielder unmarked for a header back across the goal and into the side-netting.

Minnesota pressed for the equalizer and came close in the 70th minute when the Cosmos were forced to clear the ball off the line after a corner, a save by Maurer, and a scramble in front. A shot by Justin Davis from 15 yards out was then tipped over the bar by Maurer.

New York, the defending NASL Champions, ended the season with three straight wins.

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Rayo OKC Clinches Final Postseason Berth Thanks to Cosmos Victory
Rayo OKC Clinches Final Postseason Berth Thanks to Cosmos Victory


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