NYC Greece 0-2 NYC France
With the two sides coming off huge victories in the quarterfinals, both NYC Greece and NYC France came into their Cosmos Copa semifinal match full of confidence.
NYC Greece had the first real opportunity of the game when the ball landed at the feet of Lukas Tasignianis whose shot flew just wide of net.
If it were not for the excellent play of Greek goalkeeper Demetri Touros in the first half, the French could have easily gone ahead with the multiple great chances they created.
NYC France goalkeeper Julien Weisbecker was not to be outdone, as he made an outstanding save on a shot from Anastasios Polydefkis midway through the first half.
After a scoreless first half, France’s Sylvain Willot came away on a clean breakaway in the 46th minute, only to be denied by Touros once again. Greece was quick to respond, creating numerous opportunities in the first 20 minutes of the second half. However, Greek striker Yannick Reyering, who scored four goals in the quarterfinals, was not his usually potent self and missed multiple close-range chances.
France finally broke through in the 65th minute, as Gabriel Bagot blew by his defender on the left flank and delivered a perfect pass to Willot who slotted it home to give his side a 1-0 advantage.
As NYC France was celebrating its goal, Francis Molasoko said something to the referee that resulted in the French left back receiving a red card.
Just a few minutes later, a scramble in front of the French goal ended with a series of goal line clearances, which helped preserve NYC France’s lead.
After 80 minutes, Willot netted his second of the game when he hit a one-time volley off a perfect chipped through ball from Maxime Batel.
The Greeks created a couple great opportunities late in the game, but could once again not convert.
NYC France came away 2-0 victors and will play in its first Cosmos Copa final.
NYC Senegal 1-0 NYC Gambia
NYC Senegal advanced to its second Cosmos Copa final in three years after they defeated rivals NYC Gambia 1-0.
Following a slow start to the first half, the first opportunity of the match came in the 29th minute when Senegal’s Birahim Diop fired a left-footed shot just high.
The game’s lone goal came just before halftime when Diop poked in a loose ball for Senegal following a goal line clearance by Gambia’s Mbeba Trawally.
Aside from the goal and a few isolated opportunities, the first half was a calm one, with the Senegalese controlling the pace for the most part.
Things opened up in the second half. NYC Senegal was awarded a penalty kick in the 55th minute for a rough tackle inside the box. The normally clinical Mamadou Doudou Diouf stepped up to take the spot kick but Gambia’s Abdoukarim Danso saved his effort. The Gambian keeper’s excellent performance throughout the match kept his team’s deficit at just one goal.
The game took a major turn when Gambia’s Abdoulie Jawara was given a straight red card in the 68th minute for using abusive language towards the official. The Gambians were unable to create any real chances with only ten men.
Senegal, on the other hand, continued to dominate possession and tried to hit Gambia on the break but a lack of finishing and great goalkeeping meant that Senegal was not able to add to their lead.
In extra time, a blunder by the Senegalese defense saw the ball on the foot of Gambia’s Moussa Sinerna, but his chip floated just over an open net.
The final whistle meant that NYC Senegal will play NYC France in the final of Cosmos Copa on Sunday, July 28 at 2 p.m. at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island.