Defending National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Champion New York Cosmos B won their fourth straight match, defeating Greater Lowell United FC by a score of 3-1 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Long Island Saturday afternoon.

“I thought we came out strong,” said Cosmos B head coach Fernando Barboto.  “I thought we were well prepared for the opponent. We knew they were going to sit back and [hit us with] a counterattack.”

The match was a stalemate for the first 27 minutes before Ivan Berterame headed in a ball from Michael Holzer to open up the scoring to give Cosmos B a 1-0 lead.

That would be the only scoring of the first half as both teams displayed solid play throughout, with no team displaying a real advantage early on. However, Cosmos B opened up the second half scoring as they converted a chance five minutes in.

Cosmos B took a quick free kick as Matias Ruiz charged down the near sideline. He put in a cross to Berterame who knocked it in for his second goal of the match.

In the 64th minute, a penalty was awarded to Greater Lowell United FC after one of their players was taken down in the box. Midfielder Franklin Lemus Pena stepped up to the spot and converted the kick to Hector Guerrero’s right and it trimmed Cosmos B’s lead down to 2-1.

Greater Lowell United had a dangerous chance to equalize in the 83rd minute. Forward Quincy Appah rocketed a shot toward frame but Guerrero was there to make a big save to keep the score at 2-1. Just two minutes later, Cosmos B would pad their lead to 3-1 as Daniel Bedoya put up a strong run into Lowell territory and scored an unassisted goal, making it 3-1 Cosmos B, which would be the final score of the match.

“I thought it was unfortunate for us to give up a PK, but it’s part of the game, made it 2-1,” said Barboto. “Got a little spicy there but I thought we did enough to get the third goal, pull away and get the W. It was an important game for us.”

Coach Barboto also heaped praise on the job Bedoya did in getting the big third goal to give Cosmos B the late advantage.

“I think Bedoya was our man of the match today. He scored a great goal to put us up 3-1. Bedoya and Berterame were both great today but Bedoya did well to get us the third goal and help us pull away from the opponent at 2-1.”

Cosmos B’s run in their last four matches put them in prime spot to firmly secure their spot in the NPSL playoffs. With a win against the Brooklyn Italians on Wednesday, Cosmos B would clinch the North Atlantic Conference.

“[The Brooklyn Italians are] our crosstown rival,” Barboto said while previewing the match. “It’s a derby game, the first time we played them [it was like a derby game], they had a nice crowd up for the game and I think we did quite well for the game. It’s going to be a very tough game, very emotional, very aggressive game but I think if both teams play good soccer, it will be very entertaining to watch.”

That match will kick off at 7 pm ET at Hofstra Soccer Stadium on Long Island.

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