Simply put, it was a big weekend for Bethlehem Steel FC. After coming from two goals down to draw 3-3 on the road against one of the tougher opponents in the USL Championship, North Carolina FC, on James Chambers’ 100th start, there were many things to celebrate. It was even sweeter for two of the Steel’s young forwards as academy product Shanyder Borgelin and Yomi Samuele Scintu scored their first goals for the club, with Borgelin’s the first of his professional career.
“It was important for both of them; forwards have to score goals, said Steel head coach Brendan Burke. “They both did it by running hard into the six-yard box, which is something we talk about all the time, so I’m glad the message is being received."
“Hopefully that gives them the confidence to add more and I will say that I thought when Shanyder [Borgelin] came in that he brought not just energy, but real quality into the game too and that’s an improvement from some of his past performances."
“Really encouraging stuff from both guys,” Burke continued. “Yomi [Samuele Scintu] did a lot of hard running off the ball. That’s been our primary focus with him, so for him to be able to push for 90 minutes is great.”
The goals have been some time coming as both Borgelin (17 appearances, five starts) and Scintu (nine appearances, four starts) have been pushing to get off the mark this season. Scintu was the first to score, sliding in between two North Carolina defenders in the 45th minute and slotting the ball into the corner for Steel’s first goal of the evening. It was a confidence-boosting moment for the Steel, and Borgelin’s equalizer in the dying moments of the match came from the push generated by Scintu’s strike.
Borgelin’s goal came as he got on the end of a deflected ball that was fired across the box by fellow academy product and future Philadelphia Union player Cole Turner. The ball came off of a North Carolina defender with Borgelin on hand to push it all the way in and level the score at 3-3.
“I just went in, tried to hunt the ball and when it came to me I put it away. It feels really good and hopefully I can get more in the future,” Borgelin shrugged. Scintu had similar thoughts about his first Steel goal, adding that the squad’s overall performance was positive.
“It was very good,” he smiled. “I’m very happy about my first goal because I haven’t scored yet. I’m very happy about that, but I’m happier that we drew after we were 3-1 down. It was a good performance.”
Burke and the rest of Steel will hope both strikers build on their success this weekend as the Steel are set for a showdown on the road with fourth-placed Indy Eleven on Saturday, September 14. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET, with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.