Saturday, August 31, 2013
31 August 1980 - Chinaglia's Record-Setting Night
The match was in the first round of the NASL playoffs. The Cosmos had already beaten Tulsa 1-3 away in the first leg and were hosting them at Giants Stadium for the second leg. Chinaglia scored the opening goal in the 21st minute, opening the floodgates for the strikes that soon followed.
His second came five minutes later from the penalty spot before Tulsa's Billy Caskey closed the gap to 2-1. Then a Franz Beckenbauer goal pushed the margin to 3-1, followed by another Chinaglia penalty kick to make it 4-1. Five minutes after that, the Italian international tallied his fourth of the day to end the half 5-1 to New York. He added a fifth goal in the 75th minute, then a sixth with a diving header about five minutes later. Then, with just over a minute left, he scored his seventh of the day to set the final margin at 8-1.
His tally set seven different records, including (1) most goals in a playoff game, (2) most goals in a half at 5, (3) most points in a playoff game (15, under the NASL rules of two points per goal and one per assist), (4) most points in a half with 10, (5) the shortest time between two goals at 4 minutes and 48 seconds, (6) career goals in the playoffs with 29, and (7) career playoff points with 65. Chinaglia already held the latter two records, while most of the others he took over from the Minnesota Kicks' Alan Willey.
Chinaglia continued his impressive performance throughout the playoffs, culminating with a brace in New York's 3-0 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the Soccer Bowl.