KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 6, 2019) – Led by assists from James Chambers and Ben Ofeimu, Steel FC completed a second-half comeback to earn a 4-3 victory on the road against Swope Park Rangers at Children’s Mercy Park.
The Rangers opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Ethan Vanacore-Decker redirected a cross from Killian Colombie past goalkeeper Matt Freese. The Steel would level just eight minutes later with a 27th-minute goal from Faris, off assists from Ben Ofeimu and team captain James Chambers. The Rangers would end the first half on top, snagging a goal in the 44th minute when Felipe Hernandez assisted Jerome Ngom-Mbekeli to take the lead before the end of the first 45.
The start of the second half saw Bethlehem Steel FC down 2-1 against Swope Park Rangers, following the late first-half goal from the Rangers. They would increase their lead in the 57th minute, as Jerome Ngom-Mbekeli struck again with the assist from Jacob Davis. The Steel now had a 3-1 deficit to overcome with just 30 minutes left in the match.
Defender Ben Ofeimu would cut the lead in half in the 73rd minute, giving Steel FC their second goal of the match when he powered in a header off a James-Chambers cross. The Steel got some help from Ranger defender Mark Segbers just five minutes later, as he accidentally knocked in a 78th-minute own goal and leveling the score at 3-3.
Despite being down a man in second-half stoppage time, Philadelphia Union forward Sergio Santos slotted in the game-winning goal for Steel in his first match for the club. Santos knocked the ball into the net after a rally of ricochets in the Rangers’ box and completing the comeback in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
In Steel FC’s second win of the season, Ben Ofeimu and James Chambers both recorded their first assists of 2019, with Ofeimu’s being his first-career assist. Ofeimu also scored his first goal of the 2019 USL Championship regular season. Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Matt Freese made four saves in the match. Forward Sergio Santos, on loan from Philadelphia Union, made his first appearance for Steel FC and scored his first-career goal for the club, the game-winner.
Bethlehem Steel FC returns home next weekend when it hosts Charleston Battery at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday, April 13 (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN+).
Bethlehem Steel FC 4 – Swope Park Rangers 3
Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Saturday, April 6, 2019
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Referee: Mike Lavergne
Assistant Referees: Truman Berghall, Jack Ryan-Feldman
Fourth Official: Brian Bauer
Weather: 76 degrees and sunny
SPR – Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Killian Colombie) 19’
BST – Faris (Ben Ofeimu, James Chambers) 27’
SPR – Jerome Ngom-Mbekeli (Felipe Hernandez) 44’
SPR – Jerome Ngom-Mbekeli (Jacob Davis) 57’
BST – Ben Ofeimu (James Chambers) 73’
BST – Mark Segbers (Own Goal) 78’
BST – Sergio Santos (Unassisted) 90+3’
BST – Issa Rayyan (caution) 24’
SPR – Camden Riley (caution) 49’
BST – Anthony Fontana (caution) 64’
BST – Matt Real (caution) 68’
SPR – Mark Segbers (caution) 70’
BST – Matt Real (second caution; ejection) 90+1’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese; Matt Real, Ben Ofeimu, Cole Turner, Issa Rayyan; James Chambers ©, Chavany Willis (Sergio Santos 60’); Anthony Fontana (Walter Cortés 77’), Zach Zandi; Michee Ngalina, Faris
Substitutes not used: Kris Shakes; Patrick Bohui, Saed Díaz, Steve Kingue, Jamoi Topey
Swope Park Rangers: Maximiliano Trejo; Alexsander Trejo, Graham Smith ©, Camden Riley, Mark Segbers; Felipe Hernandez, Jacob Davis (Wan Kuzain 60’), Ayyoub Allach; Killian Colombie (William Little 80’), Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Wilson Harris 77’), Jerome Ngom-Mbekeli
Substitutes not used: John Pulskamp; Rassambek Akhmatov, William Mensah, Kaveh Rad
Philadelphia Union forward Sergio Santos made his first appearance for Steel FC in tonight’s match against Swope Park Rangers, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 60th minute. Santos also scored his first-career goal for the Steel, grabbing the game-winning goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
Steel FC captain and midfielder James Chambers provided his first assists of the 2019 USL Championship campaign in the match against the Rangers. He provided his first, a secondary-assist, on Faris’ 27th-minute goal and then the assist on Ben Ofeimu’s goal in the 73rd minute. Chambers had the most touches and passes on the team, with 72 touches and 61 passes completed.
Defender Ben Ofeimu recorded his first-career assist in Steel FC’s win over Swope Park Rangers, assisting on Faris’ goal in the 27th minute to help the Steel pull level with the Rangers. Ofeimu also scored his first goal of the 2019 regular season, notching the Steel’s second goal in the 73rd minute. Defensively, Ofeimu did not commit a foul against Swope Park.
Cole Turner made his second start of the season for Steel FC and became the first Philadelphia Union Academy player to make a start on the road this season.
Steel FC play next on Saturday, April 13 when they host Charleston Battery at Talen Energy Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN+).