New York Cosmos B were put to the test by the defending NPSL champions, Elm City Express, but the side was able to pull out a victory on Wednesday night at the Hofstra Soccer Stadium. Cosmos B outlasted Elm City, earning a 4-2 win and a date with the Brooklyn Italians in the North Atlantic Conference final.
Cosmos B had to deal with an unfamiliar situation this season when Elm City went ahead in the 14th minute after Tylar Carlos’ low shot from the left side found its way into the back of the net. It was the first time New York had conceded first this season.
The home side, though, fought back. Bledi Bardic fired the ball home after cutting the ball from his left to his right foot before striking from inside the box. Bardic would then give Cosmos B the lead in the 40th minute when he found the top corner with another shot from inside the 18-yard box.
The scoring in the first half wouldn’t be done. Carlos notched his second tally of the night just before the opening stanza came to a close when he curled a free kick past Cosmos B goalkeeper Kevin Tenjo from about 28 yards out.
After a scoreless second half and ensuing extra time, the contest seemed poised to head to penalty kicks. Cosmos B, however, was able to provide the needed late-game heroics to earn the win. Wojciech Wojcik nodded home John Neeskens’ cross in the 110th minute of play to put New York back in front at 3-2. Just two minutes later, Zaire Bartley received a pass from captain Danny Szetela before scoring to seal the victory.
Cosmos B now hosts Brooklyn on Saturday, July 14, at Commisso Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 pm. The winner of Saturday’s contest will earn the North Atlantic Conference title. New York defeated Brooklyn, 2-1, back on May 15 in league play when midfielder Rafa Garcia tallied twice, including a sensational goal from midfield.
Contributor: Matthew Levine/New York Cosmos
Photo Credit: Matthew Levine/New York Cosmos