Bethlehem Steel FC Falls on Late Goal by Indy Eleven
BETHLEHEM, PA. (July 26, 2018) – Bethlehem Steel FC saw its franchise record eight-match home unbeaten streak come to an end Thursday afternoon, falling to USL-newcomer Indy Eleven, 1-0.
With an early start and rising temperatures, the two sides battled evenly with a set piece goal in the 86th minute by Jack McInerney providing the end to Steel FC’s streak. Despite scoring chances in the second half, Steel FC was unable to get past the defensive visiting side the collected its eight clean sheet of 2018.
“Not good enough,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said following the match. “You lose a mark in your box late in the game, 86thminute after you’ve done well defensively as a group, not good enough.”
Steel FC came out on the front foot early with the rookie duo of Michee Ngalina and Faris generating looks inside the offensive third of the field. In the 16th minute, Faris combined with Ngalina on the edge of the box but Indy Eleven goalkeeper Owain Fan Williams came off his line to collect. Moments later, Ngalina repaid the favor to Faris but the wet surface caused the 18-year-old Cameroonian to lose his footing.
The second half saw Steel FC continue to press and search for a go-ahead goal with seven shots in the final 45 minutes. Substitute Chris Nanco collected a pass from Philadelphia Union midfielder Adam Najem in the 70th minute but was denied by the keeper. Six minutes later, Santi Moar dribbled inside from the wing before having his right-footed attempted denied. After Nanco was fouled just outside the box, captain James Chambers looked for the needed goal on a set piece but his low-rifling shot was turned away by a diving attempt.
After Chambers’ shot was turned away, Indy Eleven raced down the field and earned seventh corner of the half. On the seventh attempt, the veteran group struck for the winner at Zach Steinberger connected with McInerney near the penalty spot with a header inside the near post.
Bethlehem Steel FC concludes July with the second leg of it’s quick home stand against Atlanta United 2 on Sunday, July 29. The contest is the club’s annual ‘Heroes Day’ where Steel FC will honor active military, veterans and first responders. Kick off from Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on Service Electric and ESPN+.