Match Recap: Bethlehem Steel FC fights hard, but falls 1-0 on the road to the Riverhounds

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (July 4, 2019) – A 45-minute weather delay got things off to a rocky start tonight for Bethlehem Steel FC as the club prepared to take on in-state rivals Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. Despite a strong first-half defensive performance, the Boys in Blue fell 1-0 on the road.

Steel FC started the game strong by fighting off the Riverhounds’ advances and using quick combo play in the midfield to take the ball the other way. The Steel back line stood strong throughout the first half and most of the second half, limiting Pittsburgh’s attack to just two shots on target. After a scoreless opening half, Kenardo Forbes stepped up to a free kick in the 57th minute and buried it past a diving Tomás Romero for the only goal of the match. 

Faris and Zach Zandi did everything they could in the attacking third to give the Steel chances, including drawing three fouls each, a team high for the pair in this one. Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie completed 97 passes out of the back, while Steel FC midfielder Chavany Willis turned in an 86.4% passing accuracy in the middle of the park. In the end the Steel couldn’t find a way through a staunch Pittsburgh defense that has only given up one goal in their last four matches.

Bethlehem Steel FC next club rivals New York Red Bulls II next Wednesday, July 10 at Talen Energy Stadium. (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN+).

RECAP:

Bethlehem Steel FC 0 – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1
Highmark Stadium (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Thursday, July 4, 2019

TODAY’S MATCH INFO:

Venue: Highmark Stadium (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Referee: Malik Badawi
Assistant Referees: Caleb Perry; Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Kerven Moon
Weather: 75 degrees and cloudy
Attendance: 4,074

GOALS/ASSISTS

PIT – Kenardo Forbes (Unassisted) 57’

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY

BST – Matt Real (caution) 36’
BST – Chavany Willis (caution) 49’
PIT – Daniel Rovira (caution) 53’
BST – James Chambers (caution) 72’
PIT – Tobi Adewole (caution) 74’
PIT – Joe Greenspan (caution) 90’

LINEUP

Bethlehem Steel FC: Tomás Romero; Walter Cortés, Matt Real, Mark McKenzie, Nathan Harriel; Cole Turner, Chavany Willis (Steve Kingue 86’), Zach Zandi, James Chambers ©; Faris (Shanyder Borgelin 86’), Issa Rayyan (Axel Picazo 75’)

Substitutes not used: Brady McSwain; Selmir Miscic, Michee Ngalina, Ben Ofeimu

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Kyle Morton; Daniel Rovira (Ryan James 63’), Tobi Adewole, Joe Greenspan, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Jordan Dover; Sammy Kahsai (Robbie Mertz 74’), Kenardo Forbes ©, Kevin Kerr; Steevan Dos Santos, Christian Volesky (Mark Forrest 87’)

Substitutes not used: Austin Pack; Neco Brett, Uchenna Uzo, Anthony Velarde

TEAM NOTES

Faris took the majority of the Steel’s shots in this match. The Cameroonian forward fired off two and increased his lead as the club’s season leader in that category to 33 shots on the year.

Steel FC midfielder Chavany Willis led the club in passing accuracy tonight, completing 86.4% of his passes against the Riverhounds.

Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie was key to Steel FC’s distribution out of the back this evening, completing a team-high 97 passes.

Midfielder Zach Zandi and forward Faris gave the Steel opportunities in the attacking end by drawing fouls on the Pittsburgh defense. The pair earned three fouls each tonight.

Bethlehem Steel FC next club rivals New York Red Bulls II next Wednesday, July 10 at Talen Energy Stadium. (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN+).

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