Junior Burgos fired home the game-winner in the 84th minute. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Midfielder Junior Burgos scored in the 84th minute to lift the New York Cosmos to a 1-0 victory over Chattanooga FC as they enjoyed winning debut in the NPSL Members Cup on Saturday night.
Burgos, a second-half substitute, drilled home a 24-yard free kick past eight Chattanooga players and past goalkeeper into the upper right corner for the lone goal of the match before a crowd of 3,347 at Finley Stadium.
Goalkeeper Santiago Castano, making his first appearance since a 2-0 victory at the New York Athletic Club on June 2, recorded the shutout.
The Cosmos played their first pro soccer game since the North American Soccer League final against the host San Francisco Deltas in 2017.
It also was the Cosmos’ organization’s first game in here since Cosmos B captured the National Premier Soccer League title with a 3-2 victory over Chattanooga FC in 2015.
The hosts had the better opportunities in the opening half. Juan Sanchez drilled a 28-yard free kick off the crossbar in the 14th minute and Joao Costa rolled a shot to goalkeeper Santiago Castano in the 33rd minute.
Cosmos midfielder Darwin Espinal came close in the 57th minute as his shot hit the outside left side netting.
Chattanooga had several weeks of rest and time to prepare for the match after the team was eliminated from the NPSL playoffs. The Cosmos lost to Miami FC in the championship game last Saturday, 3-1.
The Cosmos will host the Milwaukee Torrent in their first Members Cup home game at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. next Saturday at 7 p.m.