Bethlehem Steel FC Suffers Setback to Penn FC
Marcus Epps tallies second USL goal of 2018 as Steel FC falls to in-state rival 3-1
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (September 2, 2018) – Despite coming out of the gates strong, Bethlehem Steel FC suffered its second setback in its last eight contests with a 3-1 loss to Penn FC at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University.
Steel FC jumped out to the early lead in the 10th minute, making the most of a turnover by Penn FC’s defensive live. Pressing high up the pitch, Philadelphia Union midfielder Fabian Herbers forced a turnover and flicked a pass into the box toward Marcus Epps. The 23-year-old calmly delivered a right-footed shot past the oncoming keeper and inside the far post for the 1-0 lead.
The home side continued to press for a second goal with numerous opportunities but was unable to make the most of its early chances. Five minutes after the opening strike, Herbers and Faris combined for a give-and-go at the edge of the box but saw the shot miss right. Moments later Epps’ nearly notched a brace but was turned away by the crossbar.
After withstanding attack after attack, Penn FC turned the momentum in its favor in the 32nd minute on a long-distance strike from Aaron Dennis. Eight minutes later, the visitors doubled its lead on the counter-attack. Striking after turning Steel FC away on a corner kick, Paulo Junior raced down the right wing and fired a ball to Lucky Mkosana to cap off the attack and give the visitors the 2-1 advantage.
Trailing by a goal, Steel FC nearly knotted the contest early in the second half as Epps fired a volley to an unmarked Drew Skundrich which was turned away from goalkeeper Romuald Peiser. With Steel FC pressing hard for an equalizer, Penn FC once again turned to the counter-attack for its final strike as Dennis found Junior for their third goal of the afternoon.
“It was poor, the game should have been over after 20 minutes,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said following the match. “We didn’t show enough cutting edge in the first 20 minutes and when you don’t put teams away and leave them in games, bad things can happen and that’s exactly what happened today.”
Bethlehem Steel FC concludes its regular season contests against Keystone State rivals later this week with a showdown at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday, September 7. Kick off from Highmark Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.