Cosmos Earn Playoff Berth
The New York Cosmos recorded a 2-0 victory over Rhode Island Reds FC at Johnston Stadium to clinch a berth in the National Premier Soccer League playoffs on Sunday night.
First-half goals by striker Bledi Bardic and center back Matt Lewis boosted the Cosmos (10-0-0, 30 points) to their 20th consecutive win since the start of the 2018 season. Rhode Island dropped to 3-5-1.
The North Atlantic Conference leaders completed a perfect week in New England, after besting Boston City FC on Saturday night, 4-1.
Goalkeeper Paul Blanchete recorded the clean sheet.
Bardic, a hat-trick in the 4-1 triumph at the Brooklyn Italians last week, gave the Cosmos all the scoring they needed in the seventh minute. He turned, went to the top of the penalty area, and found some room before powering home an 18-yard shot. It was Bardic's ninth goal of the season.
Lewis doubled the lead on the half hour, heading home a corner kick.
The Cosmos were denied a third goal midway through the second half as defender Kevin Venegas fired a shot off the crossbar.
The Cosmos have four games remaining in the NPSL regular season and all are at home at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y.
They welcome the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on June 23 at 8 p.m., Rhode Island on June 30 at 5 p.m., Brooklyn Italians on July 3 at 8 p.m., and Kingston Stockade FC on July 6 at 7 p.m.
The playoffs most likely would begin the second weekend in July.