Four teams were cut down to two on Saturday as NASL sorted out the sides that will compete for this year’s championship.
Indy Eleven was the first club to book its spot in Soccer Bowl 2016 after Sinisa Ubiparipovic smashed home a strike in the second half against the Edmonton Eddies to earn a 1-0 victory at Michael Carroll Stadium. The 63rd minute finish was Ubiparipovic’s first goal of the season, and was certainly a timely one for the former MLS midfielder. The Eddies were very limited with attacking chances but nearly pulled an equalizer back with under 10 minutes remaining as Tomi Ameobi’s close-range header was brilliantly saved by Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch.
The New York Cosmos will have an opportunity to defend its NASL title next weekend after Yohandry Orozco broke the hearts of Rayo OKC in their 2-1 win. Rayo took the lead in the 37th minute after Michel’s free kick from near midfield was headed into the back of the net by Mamadou Danso. Despite few chances from the hosts, the Cosmos fought their way back into the match and equalized through Juan Arango. The Cosmos midfielder leveled the game at 1-1 with a little over a quarter hour remaining following an Ayoze Perez corner kick.
This year’s Soccer Bowl will be played on Nov. 13 and will be hosted by the Cosmos, who held the higher seed coming into the postseason.Follow @MattReedFutbol