Bethlehem Steel FC fell 1-0 to FC Cincinnati Saturday evening at Nippert Stadium in front of 17,380 fans. Goalkeeper Samir Badr made seven saves.
One of the first chances of the game fell to James Chambers in the fourth minute. After a string of passes, Chambers controlled the ball right outside the 18-yard box and curled a shot towards goal. Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati’s goalkeeper, made a diving effort to catch the ball and keep it 0-0.
Another close chance in the first half came at the feet of captain Ryan Richter in the 21st minute when he took a free kick from right outside of the box and it sailed just over the bar.
Samir Badr continued his fine form, making two huge saves and punching out two crosses to preserve the first half shutout.
In the second half, Bethlehem came out fast and physical. The first real chance of the second half fell to Cory Burke in the 49th minute as he broke off on a counterattack and had just the keeper to beat, but his shot from the edge of the 18 was straight to the keeper the score remained 0-0.
Steel FC had a few other chances early on, but were forced to play defense for the latter part of the half. Richter and Anderson stood firm as they cleared away a plethora of dangerous passes in the defensive third.
Jimmy McLaughlin, a former Philadelphia Union player, made the breakthrough in the 70th minute for FC Cincinnati. He waited at the far side from a corner and Omar Cummings, a second half sub, fed him the assist for the eventual game-winner.
Besides the goal, Badr was once again the star of the team making a total of seven saves in the match, five of which came in the second half. The best highlight reel save came in the 81st minute, when he leaped into the air to tip over a fine shot towards goal.
Steel FC return to Goodman Stadium on Sunday, July 10 to face Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 4 p.m. Single game and group tickets are available by visiting bethlehemsteelfc.com or by calling 844-STEELFC.
The team will now continue their road trip, making their final stop at Toronto FC II for their fifth straight road match. The match will be played at Ontario Soccer Centre on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.
70’ Jimmy McLaughlin (Cummings, Bone)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Samir Badr; Ryan Richter ©, Michael Daly, Anderson Conceicao, Taylor Washington; Bolu Akinyode (86’ Nick Bibbs), Fred (73’ Anthony Fontana), James Chambers, Josh Heard (78’ Raheem Taylor-Parkes); Jamie Luchini (71’ Gabe Gissie), Cory Burke
Substitutes not used: Seku Conneh, C.J. Dos Santos, Amoy Brown
Mitch Hildebrandt; Tyler Polak, Harrison Delbridge, Paul Nicholson, Pat Mcmahon; Kenney Walker, Eric Stevenson (77’ Derek Luke), Corben Bone (87’ Ross Tomaselli); Sean Okoli (90’ Evan Lee), Jimmy McLaughlin, Andrew Wiedeman (67’ Omar Cummings)
Substitutes not used: Dallas Jaye, Austin Berry, Francisco Narbon
Michael Lavergne, Justin Frear (Assistant), Nathaniel Buck (Assistant), Aaron Mitchell (Fourth)