The New York Cosmos B were crowned 2015 NPSL National Champions with a 3-2 win over Chattanooga FC in front of a record-breaking crowd of 18,227.
The Cosmos B were paced by a brace from midfielder Ibrahim Diaby and a single goal from midfielder Julian Stahler.
“Collectively we all put in the work,” Diaby commented. “That’s what we do every day in practice and today it showed. I’m truly excited and grateful.”
The game was evenly matched and remained scoreless until a 44th minute goal from Diaby put the Cosmos B up 1-0. Chattanooga would bring things even at 1-1 in the 68th minute thanks to a goal from veteran striker Chris Ochieng. That scoreline remained the same after 90 minutes.
Diaby, who would be named PUMA Player of the Game, would get his second goal early in extra time, pushing the visitors up 2-1 before Stahler added his own to make it 3-1 in the 105th minute.
Chattanooga would make a valiant comeback thanks to a goal from midfielder Samuel Goni ten minutes later. An incredible save from Cosmos B keeper Kyle Zobeck with less than a minute remaining in the match provided to be a defining moment.
The 3-2 scoreline represented a night of great attacking soccer and some outstanding defensive performances. It was also a special moment for the entire New York Cosmos organization.
“Personally this means so much to me because I know how much these kids have sacrificed and worked,” New York Cosmos B head coach Alecko Eskandarian remarked. “A lot of guys went away from their families and trusted me. I’m really happy to see it all pay off in the end because I have a fantastic group of talented players that have bright futures ahead of them.”
Despite the defeat, it was an amazing night for Chattanooga FC and the city of Chattanooga as a whole.
“I grew up in Chattanooga so it is very personal to me,” Chattanooga FC head coach Bill Elliott concluded. “For us to get over 18,000 fans in this stadium for an amateur soccer match is something I never thought I would see. It’s overwhelming, unbelievable. I don’t even know what to say.”