In his post-game press conference, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said that the league couldn’t be happier with the game, the teams, and the atmosphere at the Soccer Bowl. “We thought it was a great evening, a wonderful atmosphere, and a great match on the field,” Peterson said. It’s easy to see why he was so satisfied.
The game was an energetic, well-played, exciting match. Both the Silverbacks and the Cosmos came out on fire in the first half, no doubt fueled with the adrenaline of being in the championship game and feeding off the energy of the crowd that packed Silverbacks Park.
The home team had the run of play in the first 15 minutes or so, but was not able to create a good scoring chance. The Cosmos slowly started to take control, and they did create several excellent chances. But thanks to some outstanding saves by Atlanta’s Joe Nasco, and a couple of Cosmos shots that didn’t get on frame, the game was scoreless at the half.
That score line only lasted five minutes into the second half, as one of the league’s premier players, New York’s Marcos Senna, scored for the Cosmos. It was a shot that Nasco described as “unstoppable”.
After Senna’s goal, the Silverbacks pressed hard to equalize. They starting finding space by going wide and created several good scoring chances. But they were not able to put the ball in the net, and when referee Edvin Jurisevic blew the whistle for full time, the Cosmos had won the sixth NASL title in franchise history.
Silverbacks Park was electric. A record crowd of 7,211 filled the stands. The fans were loud from the time the teams walked onto the field until the last minute of stoppage time. Cosmos supporters filled up an entire section of stands, complete with confetti, smoke, and tifo. The Silverbacks’ own Atlanta Ultras and Westside 109 matched them every step of the way.
In the end, the entire evening was a showcase for the league and both organizations. The quality of the game, broadcast live on ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes, was a reflection of the year long efforts of the players, coaching staffs, and front offices of the league’s two best teams. Soccer Bowl 2013 was a worthy conclusion to an outstanding NASL season.
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