Kenyan defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng bagged his first title with New York Cosmos on Sunday night.
The New York Cosmos won their second consecutive North American Soccer League crown and eighth overall after defeating Indy Eleven 4-2 on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes at Belson Stadium.
Right back Ryan Richter, who was part of the Ottawa Fury team that fell short against New York in The Championship Final a year ago, blasted the deciding penalty into the net for the Cosmos.
Costa Rican forward Jairo Arrieta created one of the Cosmos’ first clear chances in the 30th minute, pouncing on a turnover and firing a half volley that skidded wide of the far post.
New York continued to throw numbers forward, but the Indy defense stood strong through the halftime whistle.
In the 70th minute, Indy winger Don Smart made an incisive run toward the heart of the 18-yard box, then ran a give-and-go before clanging a shot off the crossbar.
It was the best chance of the night for the visitors.
Seconds before the full time whistle, substitute Cosmos winger David Diosa settled a pass from Andrés Flores, turned and shot narrowly wide of the target. After 30 more minutes of extra time without a goal, the match would be decided in a penalty shootout.
The home side was up to the task, converting all four attempts en route to lifting the Soccer Bowl Trophy for the third time in four seasons.
The Kenyan defender came on as a second half subtitute in the 59th minute.
The Cosmos are the first back-to-back NASL champions of the Modern Era and just the second in the league’s history, joining the 1977-78 Cosmos. – Additional reporting New York Cosmos website.