Nanco and Moar Propel Bethlehem Steel FC to Second Half Comeback Over Ottawa

After an unlucky bounce early the match, Bethlehem Steel FC fought back with a pair of second-half goals to down Ottawa Fury FC, 2-1.

The rookie duo of Chris Nanco and Santi Moar led the attack for Steel FC, as the club snapped a two-match losing streak in the process. Nanco and Moar each tallied their third goals of the season while Jamaican international Cory Burke collected his first assist of the campaign. 

With the win, goalkeeper Tomas Romero made USL history, as 16-year-old became the youngest keeper in the league’s history to pick up a victory. The mark adds to a growing list for the U-17 El Salvadorian starter as he had previously earned the league’s youngest keeper to start a league match and earn a draw.

Despite the early Ottawa goal in the seventh minute, Steel FC gained momentum in the second half against the Canadian club that had earned points in nine of its 10 matches at TD Place Stadium. After the opening half finished with a pair of denied chances, Steel FC capitalized on a battle for possession in the midfield. After flicking the ball over a defender, Burke lifted a volley over the Fury FC defense toward Nanco. Utilizing his pace, Nanco fired off the bounce from 16 yards that curled into the far post for the equalizer.

Steel FC capped off the comeback with a bounce in their favor that saw Moar score his first game-winning goal of his career. After a long free kick was played by Auston Trusty, substitute Yosef Samuel battled for possession against Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving and a defender. With the keeper out of position, Samuel fired a shot that was blocked by the defender and rolled across the 18-yard box. Moar raced toward the post and fired it through two defenders to give Steel the win. 

Ottawa jumped out to the early lead on a fortunate bounce from Tucker Hume in the seventh minute.  After collecting a long throw-in from Irving, Hume muscled his way past defender Hugh Roberts on the left side. After fighting past Roberts, the forward dribbled into the box and fired a cross the bounced off Auston Trusty and inside the near post for Hume’s fourth goal of 2017. Fury FC nearly doubled its lead but saw a Carl Haworth shot ring off the crossbar in the 18th minute.

Steel FC began its comeback in the first half, seizing momentum with chances from Moar and Nanco. Moar created a pair of scoring chances, with his first coming in the 38th minute on a quick build up from the midfield. Racing in the 18-yard box, the Spaniard was denied by a diving block from a Fury FC defender. After an intercepting an Ottawa defender, Nanco earned Steel FC a corner kick that generated Moar’s other scoring chance. Off a James Chambers’ corner kick, defender Auston Trusty collected the ball and fired a volley into the box. With his back to goal, the 23-year-old forward generated a no-look deflection that was saved by a diving Irving before the halftime whistle.

Steel FC returns to Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University next weekend, when the club plays host to Toronto FC II on Sunday, August 13. The match will be the first of two home matches where Steel FC will be collecting items for the club’s ‘Back to School Drive’. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and tickets for the contest can be purchased here.

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