David Diosa tallied in the 53rd minute. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Midfielders David Diosa and Junior Burgos scored second-half goals to boost the New York Cosmos to a 2-0 victory over ASC San Diego in the National Premier Soccer League playoff semifinals at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Saturday night.
The Cosmos will host the winner of the Miami FC-SC Cleveland semifinal on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.
Diosa latched onto a through ball from midfielder Ricardo Bocanegra on the right flank and raced through the San Diego defense before beating goalkeeper Jean Antoine from 10 yards for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
The 26-year-old midfielder also had a role in Burgos’ goal as he was taken down in the box by San Diego’s Khadim Seye. The El Salvadoran stepped up and fired a shot into the lower left corner for a two-goal advantage in the 76th minute.
Keeper Paul Blanchette recorded the shutout.
The Cosmos owned the opening half, but had nothing to show for it.
They enjoyed greater possession than the visitors and made Antoine to work on occasion.
Antoine made three saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless. He stopped Isaac Acuna’a close-range volley off Junior Burgos’ long free kick in the 25th minute. He denied Burgos on a 30-yard free kick in the 38th minute before saved Acuna’s point-blank header a minute later.
When ASC San Diego ventured into Cosmos territory, either the backline or midfield broke up passes or Blanchette scooped up a rare cross.
It was more of the same in the second half as New York forced the issue. Acuna came close again in the 52nd minute as his header bounded off the right post.