Steel FC Battles Back To Extend Unbeaten Home Streak Against North Carolina FC
Adam Najem nets second-half strike to push streak at Goodman Stadium to eight
BETHLEHEM, PA. (July 14, 2018) – Trailing by a goal, Bethlehem Steel FC fought back with a second-half strike to extend its unbeaten streak at home to eight, drawing North Carolina FC, 1-1.
Philadelphia Union midfielder Adam Najem provided the equalizing strike, offsetting a first half goal from North Carolina FC’s Marcel Kandziora. The goal was Najem’s second as a member of Steel FC and the fourth of his USL career. On the tying goal, Steel FC rookie Drew Skundrich collected his second assist in as many home games.
“I don’t think that we were particularly good in the first half but you walk away from a game where they had one shot on target in the game and you draw 1-1 again at home,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said after the match. “Disappointing given the effort we put forward in the second half. I was really happy with the effort in the second half and the intent to get into the box a little bit quicker. I hate using that word but we were really unlucky there at the end.”
The lone shot from North Carolina came in the 22nd minute as leading scorer Daniel Rios played a soft pass to Kadziora at the top of the box. The 28-year old put a left-footed shot that snuck through the defense and into the lower left corner.
Steel FC responded with another strong second-half performance, taking nine shots and placing four on frame. The club needed just 11 minutes to tie the contest, as Najem fired a right-footed shot inside the far post.
Both teams pushed for a winning goal including a final second chance from Steel FC but James Chambers’ shot inside the box was blocked.
Steel FC concludes its busy stretch of four matches in 13 days when it makes the short trip to battle rival New York Red Bulls II. Kick off from the MSU Soccer Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Service Electric and ESPN+.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, North Carolina FC 1
Shots: 17-8 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 4-1 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 6-4 (North Carolina)
Saves: 3-0 (North Carolina)
NC – 22’ Marcel Kandziora (Daniel Rios)
BST – 56’ Adam Najem (Drew Skundrich)
NC – 41’ Graham Smith (Yellow Card)
BST – 65’ Prosper Chiluya (Yellow Card)
NC – 70’ Dre Fortune (Yellow Card)
BST – 83’ Omar Holness (Yellow Card)
NC – 90’ Marcel Kandziora (Yellow Card)
BST – 90+’ Brandon Aubrey (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Ben Ofeimu, Matt Mahoney; James Chambers, Drew Skundrich; Santi Moar, Adam Najem (Brenden Aaronson 86’), Tonny Temple (Aidan Apodaca 45’); Chris Nanco (Omar Holness 69’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, AJ Paterson, Michael Pellegrino.
NORTH CAROLINA FC STARTING XI
Alex Tambakis; DJ Taylor (Aaron Guillen 81’), Michael Harrington , Connor Tobin, Steve Miller; Marcel Kandziora, Kyle Bekker, Graham Smith, Dre Fortune; Daniel Rios (Tiyi Shipalane 60’), Donovan Ewolo.
Substitutes not used: Austin Guerrero, Wuilito Fernandes, Nelson Blanco, Cameron Steele, Marios Lomis.
Officials: JJ Bilinski, Jeff Skinkler (Assistant), Richard Zayas (Assistant), Joshua Encarnacion (Fourth Official).
LVHN TEAM NOTES
- Steel FC defender Prosper Chiluya returned to the starting XI, earning his ninth start of 2018 and his first since May 19 at Indy Eleven.
- Steel FC extended is franchise record home unbeaten streak to eight matches with today’s result. Overall in Steel FC is 4-1-5 this year at Goodman Stadium
- Adam Najem’s goal was his second of 2018 and the fourth of his USL career.
- Drew Skundrich collected the assist on Najem’s goal, putting him in a tie with Mike Catalano for the club lead among rookies.
- Midfielder Omar Holness made his Steel FC debut Saturday evening, coming on as a second-half substitute and playing the final 21 minutes.