FRANCE AND GAMBIA ADVANCE TO 2014 COPA FINAL
By Jason Lind
The 2014 Cosmos Copa Final will feature some familiar faces, but not quite the same ones as last year.
NYC France and NYC Gambia advanced out of semifinal play this morning, notching victories over NYC Ireland and NYC Senegal, respectively. They will meet in next weekend's final.
France had a comfortable two-goal lead on the Irish early but had to stave off a valiant late comeback. By the end of it, the score was 3-2 France, and Ireland came up just short of reaching their first Copa final.
Senegal were angling for another shot at the 2013 champions, France, who defeated them in last year's final. Instead, it was Gambia's turn for vengeance. A sturdy back line propelled the Gambians to a 1-0 victory over Senegal - the inverse score line of last year's semifinal match between the two teams.
Gambia, France and Senegal were all part of the 2013 tournament's semifinal round. The lone difference this year was Ireland, who made their first appearance in the final four since 2010.
In the final, France will try to repeat as Copa champions, while Gambia will play for their first championship. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 2 from Shuart Stadium. The final will lead into the New York Cosmos NASL home match against the Carolina RailHawks.