A pair of first-half goals and a strong defensive performance lifted Bethlehem Steel FC past rival New York Red Bulls II, 2-0, for the club’s seventh consecutive result.
Chris Nanco notched his second goal of the season to open the scoring while Philadelphia Union midfielder Fabian Herbers tallied the insurance goal, extending Steel FC's unbeaten to streak to seven matches. The run is the longest in the club’s young history, with Steel FC unbeaten since May 28. Goalkeeper Jake McGuire made four saves in route to his fifth clean sheet of the season.
“Happy with it and it’s the second in a couple weeks and that is really a hard thing to do especially against a good team,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “I think the whole group is pleased with the overall performance in the first half and the grit in the second half to keep the game choppy and not allow them to get into a rhythm. We didn’t collapse on ourselves and allow them any sort of meaningful possession in our half of the field, bar one or two instances.”
Despite being outshot in the match, Steel FC made the most of its opportunities in front of goal in the first half in the final regular season meeting between the two clubs. After seeing a shot ring off the post a minute earlier, Adam Najem and Nanco sparked a counter attack for the opening goal. Running with a 2-on-1 man advantage, Najem delivered a pass into the box that Nanco slotted home in the 17th minute.
Red Bulls II tried to answer moments later with a shot from the edge of the box but McGuire kept Steel FC’s lead. Bethlehem doubled its lead moments later, as Santi Moar made a run down the goal line before finding Herbers in front of the keeper. With the defense collapsing on the Spaniard, a quick one time pass was enough for Herbers to collect his first goal of the season.
Steel FC concludes its three-game homestead against in-state rival Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, July 15. The match will be the first of three meetings this season and tickets for the rivalry match can be purchased online here or by calling the Bethlehem Steel FC ticket office at 844-STEELFC.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, New York Red Bulls II 0
Shots: 12-9 (New York)
Shots On Goal: 5-4 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 5-2 (New York)
Saves: 4-3 (Bethlehem)
BST – 17’ Chris Nanco (Adam Najem)
BST – 31’ Fabian Herbers (Santi Moar)
BST – 32’ Fabian Herbers (Yellow Card)
NY – 34’ Derrick Etienne (Yellow Card)
BST – 66’ Chris Nanco (Yellow Card)
NY – 76’ Arun Basuljevic (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Ken Tribbett, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Anthony Fontana, Adam Najem; Santi Moar (Josh Heard 86’), Fabian Herbers (Amoy Brown 61’), Chris Nanco (Yosef Samuel 71’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Charlie Reymann, Matthew Mahoney, Dawson McCartney.
NEW YORK RED BULLS II STARTING XI
Evan Louro; David Najem, Tim Schmoll, Hassan Ndam, Ethan Kutler; Dan Metzger, Arun Basuljevic, Vincent Bezecourt (Florian Valot 64’); Derrick Etienne, Brandon Allen (Douglas Martinez 46’), Zeiko Lewis.
Substitutes not used: SamIlin, David Abidor, Andrew Tinari, Junior Flemmings.
Gustavo Solorio, Melvin Holmes II (Assistant), Brian DiPaolo (Assistant), Bernard Shumbusho (Fourth Official)
LVHN TEAM NOTES