Sacir Hot: “Our guys can be proud of the victory over a top organization.” (Photo courtesy of FC Motown)
By Michael Lewis
Almost two days after the dust had settled from his team’s victory over Cosmos B, FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot put the 3-2 Northeast Region triumph in the National Premier Soccer League playoffs into perspective.
The New Jersey-based side grabbed a 3-0 lead during a 19-minute span in the second half before holding off a late Cosmos B rally in Manhattan.
“I’d say it is the biggest victory in the club’s short history,” he said Monday. “The Cosmos are a professional club with a tremendous talent pool. Our guys can be proud of the victory over a top organization. They put in the effort and stayed focused the whole match. Now against Portland, we know that we will have to step up and perform once again. They are a good team and well coached.”
FC Motown (12-1-1), which is seeded No. 1 among the remaining four sides in the competition, will face No. 4 FCM Portland in the national semifinals at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the stadium an hour prior to kickoff.
Asked if reaching the semifinals was a dream scenario for a team in its first year of existence, Hot replied, “I wouldn’t call it a dream, I think that the national championship is a realistic target for our group of guys. We also understand that we still haven’t won anything yet and have prepare for Portland on Saturday. We must improve in every facet of the game and know that Saturday wasn’t good enough.”
Midfielder Dilly Duka, who earned Northeast Region XI honors and who is up for All NPSL honors, and his teammates will get several days off to recover after playing four playoff matches over an 11-day period.
“One of our goals since the start of the year was winning a NPSL title – and now after this game we’re so close to accomplishing that,” he said. “Beating the New York Cosmos wasn’t easy but it sure was special for our group.”
If FC Motown wins Saturday, it will be in position to host the national final as the No. 1 national seed, Saturday, Aug. 4.