Credit: New York Cosmos

Having faced Brooklyn Italians twice  already this season, fans were excited to see the rubber match between the Cosmos and Italians as each side were able to come up with victories. The Brooklyn Italians found success with a 2-1 scoreline on May 15th in league play while the latter walked away as 3-2 victors a week prior in the US Open Cup.

Both sides weren’t able to break the deadlock until the 68th minute came, the visitors finding the scoresheet. A well weighted pass from midfield found James Thristino making a run at goal. Thristino kept calm as Kevin Tenjo charged him from goal, slotting the ball into the back of the net.

With their season on the line, Cosmos B fought hard to find an equalizer and were able to do so just seven minutes later. A pass from the left side of the box found captain, Danny Szetela, at the top of the eighteen. The midfielder sent a cross into the center of the area on the first time, finding Zaire Bartley in front of goal. Bartley chested the ball down and immediately fired at net, hitting the Italians goalkeeper and sending the rebound home.

The hosts were forced to play with ten men following midfielder, Rafa Garcia’s, red card.

Neither side were able to find a winner in regulation, forcing an additional 30 minutes of play. Having already played a 120 minute game that week and being a man down, Cosmos B became evidently tired. Luckily, the visitors weren’t able to capitalize on it, leading to a penalty shootout.

Cosmos B would be perfect from the spot, scoring all five kicks and winning the penalty shootout 5-3.  Alexis Velela, John Nesskens, Zaire Bartley, and Darwin Espinal all stepped up for the hosts while Kevin Tenjo was able to stop one.

With this victory, Cosmos B move on to the NPSL Northeast Region Semifinals on Wednesday, 7:30 PM at Hofstra Soccer Stadium where they will take on FC Frederick from the Mid-Atlantic Conference.

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