CHESTER, Pa. (March 30, 2019) – Led by goals from 18-year-olds Michee Ngalina and Faris, Bethlehem Steel FC concluded their three-match March home stand at Talen Energy Stadium with a 2-2 draw against in-state rival Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
The Riverhounds opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Ryan James assisted Kevin Kerr but Steel FC responded when 18-year-old Issa Rayyan darted down the right wing and whipped in a cross that Faris met with an emphatic header to equalize in the 21st minute.
Steel FC then took the lead in the 36th minute as Michee Ngalina and Zach Zandi played a clever one-two that resulted in Ngalina ripping a strike with the outside of his foot into the corner of the net. Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Carlos Miguel Coronel was called upon for more first-half stoppage heroics and delivered, guessing correctly with a lung to his right to deny a Riverhounds penalty kick attempt from midfielder Kevin Kerr.
With a halftime Steel FC lead to protect, the start of the second half was a defensive stalemate as both teams tried to maintain possession and open up the back line. However, Pittsburgh equalized in the 60th minute, when Joe Greenspan headed in a corner from Kenardo Forbes. Despite the tying goal, Steel FC pressed for the win as midfielder James Chambers’ deflected effort from outside the box grazed the top of the netting. The breakthrough almost came in the 82nd minute as Michee Ngalina latched onto a through ball but could only send his effort wide of the goal. After a back and forth final 10 minutes, the match ended with both teams claiming a result and a 2-2 draw.
In the draw, Zach Zandi and Issa Rayyan both recorded their first career assists in the match, with Carlos Miguel Coronel adding five saves and his second penalty kick save of the season. Michee Ngalina and Faris notched their first goals of the 2019 campaign after the two combined for ten in 2018.
Bethlehem Steel FC opens their April schedule next weekend when it travels to play Swope Park Rangers for the first team in club history at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, April 6 (5:00 p.m. ET | Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, KS. | ESPN+).
Bethlehem Steel FC 2 – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Saturday, March 30, 2019
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Referee: Jose Lara
Assistant Referees: Jonah Kind, Szczepan Dziewa
Fourth Official: Patrick Slane
Weather: 67 degrees and partly cloudy
PIT – Kevin Kerr (Ryan James) 4’
BST – Faris (Issa Rayyan) 21’
BST – Michee Ngalina (Zach Zandi) 36’
PIT – Joe Greenspan (Kenardo Forbes) 60’
BST – Chavany Willis (caution) 29’
BST – Faris (caution) 44’
BST – James Chambers (caution) 70’
PIT – Jordan Dover (caution) 72’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Carlos Miguel Coronel; Walter Cortés, Matt Real, Ben Ofeimu, Issa Rayyan; James Chambers ©, Chavany Willis; Anthony Fontana, Zach Zandi; Michee Ngalina, Faris (Shanyder Borgelin 90’)
Substitutes not used: Kris Shakes; Steve Kingue, Selmir Miscic, Cole Turner
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Kyle Morton; Jordan Dover, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan, Tobi Adewole, Ryan James; Kevin Kerr (Christian Volesky 71’), Kenardo Forbes ©, Mouhamed Dabo (Anthony Velarde 78’); Neco Brett, Steevan Dos Santos
Substitutes not used: Ben Lundgaard; Uchenna Uzo, Caleb Smith, Sammy Kahsai, Noah Franke
Issa Rayyan recorded his first career assist with his 21st-minute cross to Faris. Rayyan signed with Steel FC on February 26, 2019 after starring at Duke University in 2018. The eighteen year-old has started three games and made four appearances for Steel FC during the 2019 season.
Zach Zandi also notched his first career assist in the 36th minute of tonight’s match. Zandi is one of four Steel players to start every match of the 2019 season. Zandi is the only player on the team to record both a goal and an assist this season.
Michee Ngalina and Faris both scored their first goals of the 2019 season tonight. Ngalina led Steel FC in goals during the 2018 season with seven. Faris scored three goals for Steel FC last season.
After tonight’s five save performance, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Carlos Miguel Coronel has now made thirteen saves in his two career starts for Steel FC. Coronel also added his second penalty-kick save of the season. The Brazilian has also made one start for the Philadelphia Union, in which he recorded a shutout as the Union won 3-0 against the Columbus Crew SC.
Steel FC captain James Chambers led the team with six tackles tonight, the most by any player on either team. Chambers has started every match and played every minute of the 2019 season, joining defender Ben Ofeimu as the only Steel FC players to do so.
Steel FC play next on Saturday, April 6 when they travel to face Swope Park Rangers at Children’s Mercy Park (5:00 p.m. ET | ESPN+).