Anytime you claim for first league title it has to be a wonderful feeling for everyone involved with the club. When you knock off the defending champions to claim the title, it should make the celebration that much sweeter.
The San Francisco Deltas claimed their first NASL title on Sunday evening, defeating the defending champion New York Cosmos 2-0. The hosts used a goal in each half to defeat their opponents.
After each side tested their luck earlier in the match, the Deltas got on the board after 19 minutes. Thomas Heinemann’s penalty kick goal put the hosts ahead 1-0 after James Mulligan fouled Jackson inside of the box.
Heinemann came close to doubling the lead before halftime, but James Maurer kept the goalscorer out in the 40th-minute.
Emmanuel Ledesma’s left-footed effort in the 64th-minute came close to leveling the score, before Lucky Mkosana also was kept out by Romauld Peiser.
Eugene Starikov’s header in the 77th-minute kept the Cosmos knocking at the door, but things would change in the final minutes. The Deltas slammed the door on any comeback, as Devon Sandoval’s close-range finish capped off a superb playoff run by San Francisco.
Peiser made four saves in the clean sheet, while Maurer made four in the loss. After knocking off the #1 seed Miami FC, Sunday was a disappointing defeat for the Cosmos who will surely look to rebuild for 2018.
Consistency helped the Deltas claim this title, after losing onl y two of their final 16 regular season games. After eliminating North Carolina FC last round, they were able to continue that strong run and claim their first trophy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Heinemann earned man of the match honors, scoring what proved to be the winning goal in the championship. The forward also had other chances to add to the lead, and was a pest for New York all evening.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
New York had chances to level the score earlier in the match, but Sandoval’s insurance goal sent the home crowd crazy. The goal was the perfect ending to a superb performance by the title winners.
MATCH TO FORGET
Cosmos playmaker Juan Guerra was extremely quiet for New York, failing to record a shot on goal. Normally a focal point in the team’s build-up play, Guerra failed to do much in the loss.