Bethlehem Steel FC saw its historic 2017 season come to an end in the USL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as the club fell to conference champions Louisville City FC, 4-0.
Facing off against the top squad in the USL’s Eastern Conference, Louisville jumped out to the early lead on a set piece goal in the 14th minute. After a foul around midfield, Louisville City FC floated a ball into the box that was flicked on by Paco Craig. The ball found its way to Tarek Morad in front of goal and defender slotted past goalkeeper Jake McGuire.
Steel FC looked to respond minutes later, with a strong play from defender Matt Real. Expecting a pass into the midfield, the 18-year-old intercepted the pass and dribble into the offensive side of the pitch. After a laying it off for Chris Nanco, Real regathered it and fired a shot that was blocked inside the box.
While McGuire turned in a strong first half that saw five saves, including a fingertip stop in the 27th minute, Louisville City FC doubled its lead on a timely bounce off the crossbar. In search of a tying goal, the hosts launched a counter attack that saw a shot from Sean Totsch crash off the woodwork and fall to Morad, who tapped it in.
Steel FC came out on the front foot in the second half, claiming the first three corners of the half. After a pair of chances inside the host’s 18-yard-box, captain James Chambers nearly got Steel FC on the scoresheet as his shot was fired wide of the left post.
Louisville City’s Luke Spencer and Brian Ownby added goals in the second half as the two-time Eastern Conference finalists advanced.