New York Cosmos B had to dig deep, but the side was able to earn the North Atlantic Conference title on Saturday in a penalty-kick shootout against the Brooklyn Italians. It was the second game in a row that New York headed into extra time. After the score was level at 1-1 after 120 minutes of play, Cosmos B advanced in the shootout by the score of 5-3.
Defender Johnny Borrajo stepped up for the winning kick at Commisso Stadium following a key save from goalkeeper Kevin Tenjo on the Italians previous kick. Alexis Velela, John Nesskens, Zaire Bartley, and Darwin Espinal also converted their kicks.
Brooklyn, which has played the Cosmos tough in two previous meetings – once in league play and nce in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – took the lead in the 68th minute. James Thristino fired past Tenjo from the left side to give the visitors the 1-0 advantage.
Cosmos B would find a way back, though. Bartley’s first attempt was saved, but he was able to put back his own rebound in the 75th minute to equalize the match.
New York would then have to play the remainder of the contest with 10 men when Rafa Garcia was shown a red card after some pushing from both teams.
Brooklyn had two key chances to get the go-ahead goal – first in the 90th minute and later in the extra time – but Tenjo was able to make crucial stops to preserve the tie and extend the game for Cosmos B.
New York now faces FC Frederick from the Mid-Atlantic Conference on Wednesday night at Hofstra Soccer Stadium in the NPSL Northeast Region semifinals. Kickoff will be at 7:30 pm.
Contributor: Matthew Levine/New York Cosmos
Photo Credit: Matthew Levine/New York Cosmos