Second half tallies from midfielder Marcos Senna and forward Stefan Dimitrov gave the New York Cosmos a 2-1 victory over the host San Antonio Scorpions at Toyota Field and therefore secured the 2013 NASL Fall Season Championship on Saturday evening.
“First of all, this is something the players deserve,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. “They've been working extremely hard and have had a great season, playing one game at a time. Now, after tonight, we'll immediately start to focus and prepare for our next match.”
The crowd of 7,702 saw the Cosmos come back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to scored twice in a two-minute span to take the lead in the second half and recovered from the late game ejections of defender Dane Murphy (74th) and head coach Savarese (76th) to claim earn their first trip to the NASL Soccer Bowl since 1982
New York, which opened an eight-point lead at the top of the NASL standings and cannot be caught by their nearest challenger the Tampa Bay Rowdies, will now take on the Spring Season Champion Atlanta Silverbacks for 2013 league championship on November 9 in Atlanta, Ga.
Both sides will meet next week in the Fall season finale and preview of the NASL Soccer Bowl at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
“All the guys knew that we needed three points to go to the Soccer Bowl and it’s not easy to do when you’re a goal down, but we came back after halftime ready to do the job,” said Cosmos assistant coach, Carlos Llamosa. “In the second half we tried to be more aggressive and fortunately for us we were able to capitalize.”
The Scorpions took the lead early in the first half (3rd minute) when Polish forward Tomasz Zahorski scored his ninth goal of the season off an assist from striker Dennis Chin.
The Cosmos missed their chance to tie the game when Brazilian midfielder Paulo Mendes took a great shot across the goal and past Scorpions goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo, only to hit the post.
In the second half, the former Spanish international Senna tied the match in the 52nd minute off an assist from Uruguayan midfielder Sebástian Guenzatti.
Two minutes later, the Cosmos would score the game-winner when Bulgarian native Dimitrov notched his first goal of the season off a pass from Venezuelan forward Diomar Diaz.
The win also extends the Cosmos unbeaten streak to 10 games.
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