The New York Cosmos have come short in their attempt to win three straight NASL Championship’s, falling to the San Francisco Deltas away from home.
An eighth minute corner sent in by Emmanuel Ledesma provided the Cosmos their first scoring opportunity of the game. Deltas keeper, Romauld Peiser, punched away the cross, only to reach Juan Guerra at the top of the eighteen. The Venezuelan volleyed the ball back into the mix, forcing a corner after Peiser’s save.
Nine minutes later the boys in green nearly scored again. A set piece on the right side of the box was sent in by Emmanuel Ledesma, found an unmarked Eric Calvillo. The 19 year-old’s header flew just wide of the right post.
The hosts saw things go there way when referee, Rubiel Vazquez, awarded them a penalty in the 18th minute. An attempted clearance by Carlos Mendes deflected back into the box, sending Deltas winger, Jackson, through on goal. The Brazilian took a touch past Maurer, who took him down inside the box, earning a penalty kick. The team’s leading goalscorer, Tommy Heinemann, stepped up and fired his shot into the center of the goal, giving his side the lead.
San Francisco had two chances to double their lead prior to the halftime whistle, but were unable to do something. In a 39th minute counter attack, midfielder Jack Stephens curled a shot from outside the box but watched his attempt fly wide of goal. In a series of poor clearances from the Cosmos’ backline, the ball eventually dribbled to Heinemann, who shot first time at net. Cosmos shot-stopper, Jimmy Maurer, made a diving save which led to a Dejan Jaković clearance.
The forward had yet another scoring opportunity when he was found unmarked inside the box. The 30 year-old was found by a Jack Stephens cross, but was denied his second goal by a charging Maurer.
Second-Half substitute, Lucky Mkosana, provided the visitors with a great opportunity in the 77th minute. The forward’s cross found the head of Eugene Starikov, who wasn’t able to redirect the ball towards goal.
The hosts secured their championship victory in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time when they scored a second goal. With the entire team going forward to find an equalizer, the Cosmos were exposed at the back, becoming vulnerable to a Deltas counterattack. Jackson sent Kyle Bekker through on goal who got past Ayoze. The forward took a touch past Maurer who took Bekker out, however Devon Sandoval got to the ball and finished into the empty net.
With this result, the San Francisco Deltas have won their first NASL Soccer bowl, doing so in their first attempt.
Cosmos Head Coach, Giovanni Savarese commented on the game saying, “we want to congratulate the Deltas on their win, they are a great team and played well tonight. It was a difficult field to play on, and we couldn’t find the goal tonight.”