Wednesday, September 18, 2013
18 September 1982 - Masters Of The NASL Universe
It was their fifth appearance in the final in six years. They finished as runners-up in a penalty shootout in 1981, after winning it in 1977, 1978, and 1980 (they also won the title in 1972). With a defense anchored by goalkeeper Hubert Birkenmeier and center back Andranik Eskandarian and an attack led by Chinaglia—all NASL All-Stars—the Cosmos had the league's best record in the regular season. Seattle weren't far behind, winning the Western Division with an All-Star of their own, on-loan Nottingham Forest forward Peter Ward.
They met at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium, where they played before a relatively small crowd of 22,634. Although Seattle went on the attack early, outshooting New York 8-1 in the first twenty minutes, New York went ahead in the 37th minute, as Chinaglia fired a shot from 12 yards out that hit Seattle keeper Paul Hammond and rebounded into the goal.
It was all New York needed. Birkenmeier and the Cosmos defense, who had kept clean sheets through regulation in the two previous finals, did so again to hold on for the 1-0 win.