Defending National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Champion New York Cosmos B put up their second straight victory as they won 2-0 against the Seacoast United Phantoms at James M. Shuart Stadium on Long Island Sunday afternoon.
“I thought we played extremely well,” said Cosmos B coach Fernando Barboto. “We had the ball moving left to right; we controlled the rhythm of the game very well. We possessed, we controlled and we scored.”
Cosmos B opened the match with two early chances in the first five minutes as midfielder Alejandro Mitrano struck two shots in the second and fifth minute off the crossbar.
The Phantoms tried to counter with their own chance in the 14th minute as Abdulkadir Haji had a strong run into Cosmos B territory, but defender Miguel Palafox was there to break off the dangerous chance. Haji had another chance just four minutes later, but goalkeeper Hector Guerrero was there with a nice save to keep the match level at zero.
But Cosmos B kept up a strong offensive presence throughout the first half, creating numerous chances. The Phantoms countered with a solid defensive effort, the only blemish being a yellow card foul issued to William Risigo in the 20th minute.
Cosmos B were finally able to break through in the first half as Franklin Castellanos connected with Trey Williams as Williams headed in the opening goal of the match in the 38th minute.
The Phantoms made a tactical change at halftime, subbing out starting goalkeeper Andrew Pesci for Andre Bernardini. Cosmos B would test Bernardini less than 10 minutes into the second half as Julian Stahler capitalized on a chance started from a corner as he knocked in a ball in the box to make it 2-0 in the 53rd minute.
“Working on a set play and actually executing it with willpower from Julian [Stahler] to be at the right place at the right time is what makes the play happen,” said Barboto on the goal.
Ultimately, it was Cosmos B defender Gaston Sanchez that put through the header to Stahler, who was recognized by Coach Barboto of being an integral part of the match.
“I thought [Sanchez] was fantastic. He helped us defensively, he kept us strong and he was our steal today.”
Cosmos B would make their own tactical changes in the second half, notably their own goalkeeper swap as Kevin Tenjo came on for Hector Guerrero in the 65th minute.
“It was humid and we wanted to continue the tempo and try to score a few goals,” Barboto said about his tactical changes. “We had a nice crowd here, so we wanted to make sure we were entertaining to them.”
When it was all said and done and the final whistle blew, Cosmos B came out victorious and held on to their 2-0 lead, as they have now gone to 4-0-1 (WDL) on the 2016 NPSL season.
Overall, Cosmos B kept up an offensive pace that they were able to sustain throughout the whole match and it will be key for them every match this season.
“I think we’re always going to be dynamic in our attack,” Coach Barboto said. “We’re going to send numbers forward with balance on defense but we have some good players, the future is bright for each one of them, and I think it showed up today again.”