Defending National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Champion New York Cosmos B rebounded from a loss Friday night to win 3-1 against the New York Athletic Club at David S. Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra University on Long Island Saturday afternoon.
“I thought the group showed a lot resilience,” Coach Fernando Barboto said after the win. “From giving up a goal, to coming back from being tied 1-1. We played yesterday, we had heavy legs but I thought we stuck to our style, we possessed the ball, and we attacked the flanks. I thought we did well; we created a lot of chances to score.”
Cosmos B came out of the gates quickly capitalizing on an early corner kick in the third minute. Midfielder Franklin Castellanos took the corner for Cosmos B and connected with forward Alejandro Mitrano for the opening goal of the game.
While a yellow card was issued to New York Athletic Club’s Stefan Gualano in the 15th minute, clean, hard play was seen from both sides throughout the first half as both teams jostled for possession, displaying crisp passing and decent chances to formulate an attack.
In the 38th minute, New York Athletic Club capitalized on one of their best opportunities of the match when Cosmos B goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck came out from his own net to try to help on defense. New York Athletic Club’s Endri Berisha took advantage of the chance and lofted in a shot to equalize the match at a goal apiece.
After halftime in the 53rd minute, Peter Ceesay put a strong run into Cosmos B territory. It looked like it would be a one-on-one with Ceesay and Zobeck, but Cosmos B defender Miguel Palafox was there to put in a key defensive effort to keep the match squared at one.
Cosmos B responded with multiple attacking chances, earning many possessions in the NYAC end of the pitch. One big chance came in the 76th minute when midfielder Julian Stahler had just the keeper to beat in the box, but New York Athletic Club’s Marco Luna was there to come up with a big save to keep the match knotted at one.
However, Stahler would get another chance to make a difference in the 81st minute as he put up a strong run into New York Athletic Club territory and connected with Shaun Russell to give Cosmos B a 2-1 lead.
In the 87th minute, Cosmos B netted home their final goal of the match as Franklin Castellanos rocketed home a free kick goal from about 27 yards out to seal a 3-1 Cosmos B victory.
When it was all said and done, Coach Barboto gave credit to the midfield who kept the team at bay on the second half of back-to-back matches.
“I really think it was a team effort, but I thought our center midfield worked really well. Michael Holzer, Andrea Rubin, Franklin Castellanos, those guys kept us going the whole game, even though fatigue was setting in.”
Cosmos B will next host the Seacoast United Phantoms at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University for the first part of a Cosmos doubleheader on Sunday May 22 at 3 pm ET. The match will precede the New York Cosmos 6 pm ET match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.