The New York Cosmos beat the punchless Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-0 tonight before 39,537 fans at Giants Stadium in a rematch of last season's North American Soccer League final.
Fort Lauderdale, which has brought some of the most expensive talent in the league, was unable to generate any offense. Only some fine goalkeeping by Dutch international star Jan Van Beveren, who had 10 saves, kept the Strikers close.
The Cosmos scored in the 10th minute on a disputed goal by Giorgio Chinaglia, who first fanned on a shot 13 yards out, then scored when the ball took an odd bounce and landed at his feet. The goal was Chinaglia's 20th in 20 games for the Cosmos. He leads the league in scoring.
Fort Lauderdale argued that the goal should not have been allowed because the linesman had signaled an offsides on a play before the shot, but the referee overruled his call.
The second Cosmos goal came on a picture-book play by Julio Cesar Romero.He took a pass from Vladislav Bogicevic after a nice dribble by Chinaglia and banged it in from 20 yards out. It was Romero's first goal of the season.