Emmanuele Sembroni scored on headers within two minutes to break the game open. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Center back Emmanuele Sembroni scored twice within a two-minute span in the opening half hour to spark the Cosmos to a 6-0 victory over Kingston Stockade FC at Mitchel Athletic Complex Saturday night.
Bledi Bardic, Junior Burgos, Naeem Charles and Giuseppe Barone also tallied for the Cosmos (40 points), who finished the regular season unbeaten at 13-0-1 as they secured home-field advantage through the National Premier Soccer League playoffs. Kingston (25) finished the season at 7-3-4.
Goalkeeper Paul Blanchette recorded the shutout.
After a scoreless opening 27 minutes, Albanian national team captain Ansi Agolli and Sembroni twice combined to pull the hosts ahead.
In the 28th minute, Agolli lofted a free kick from the right side into the penalty area and Sembroni headed it home from six yards to snap the scoreless deadlock. Only two minutes later, Agolli’s corner kick started a scoring sequence in which Sembroni headed home from close range for a 2-0 advantage.
The Cosmos never looked back as they continued to score goals in bunches.
First, striker Bledi Bardic pounced on a sloppy back pass and beat the goalkeeper for a 3-0 bulge in the 44th minute.
Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Burgos got into the act, connecting from the top of the box to give the Cosmos a 4-0 halftime lead.
Charles, the team’s most recent signing, scored from distance to extend the margin to 5-0 in the second half before Barone closed out the scoring, striking from distance in the 84th minute. Barone also recorded a golazo in the Cosmos’ 2-0 win in Kingston in May.
The Cosmos will host the Brooklyn Italians in the North Atlantic Conference final at Mitchel on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.