After falling behind on an unfortunate goal in the first half, Bethlehem Steel FC fought back to draw Saint Louis FC, 1-1, in the 2017 home finale at Goodman Stadium.
Left back Matthew Real struck for the equalizer one minute after Saint Louis FC’s Sebastian Dalgaad scored, netting the Steel FC defender his first professional goal. With the result, Steel FC will be the eighth seed in the USL Cup Playoffs and face off against Eastern Conference Champions Louisville City FC on Friday, Oct. 20.
Needing a win to push higher up the Eastern Conference table, Steel FC produced one of its most creative matches of the year, firing 20 shots compared to St. Louis’ six. Steel FC came out on the front foot, with chances from Santi Moar and Cory Burke in the match’s opening 15 minutes, but were unable to place their shots on frame. The duo combined on a counter attack in the 19th minute, but was kept off the scoresheet by Saint Louis FC’s Devala Gorrick.
Saint Louis opened the scoring in the 34th minute, taking advantage of a miscommunication. As Steel FC looked to clear, Dalgaad applied pressure inside the box and tapped it past Steel FC’s Jake McGuire for the goal.
It didn’t take long for Steel FC to respond however, as Real tallied his goal. After restarting play, Real collected a James Chambers pass and dribbled into the offensive side of the field. After a volley to Moar was defended by Saint Louis FC, the 18-year-old defender won the ball back against a pair of defenders. With the ball inside the 18-yard-box, Real beat the keeper on the near post to tie the match.
Steel FC continued to push for a winning goal in the final half but were unable to convert. Moar generated the first chance near the goal line but was unable to beat the keeper. Steel FC’s best chance came in the 81st minute, as Burke beat his defender and the keeper but was denied by the post.
Bethlehem Steel FC will have little time to focus on Sunday’s draw as they will make their first USL postseason appearance on Friday. Kickoff from Louisville Slugger Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.