Bethlehem, PA. (July 10, 2016) – Bethlehem Steel FC hosted visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds Thursday afternoon in a budding in-state rivalry for the USL clubs.
The first five minutes of the match saw three quick fouls and a pure lack of any offensive rhythm for either team. Steel FC settled in first, creating the first handful of scoring opportunities.
Pittsburgh struggled to break the suffocating onslaught by BSFC, which allowed Bethlehem to control most of the game’s tempo from the midfield through the first 25 minutes.
In the 23rd minute a delayed whistle – sounded for a foul on Cory Burke – gave Steel FC a great opportunity with a free kick from about 35 yards out.
After Burke’s kick ricocheted off the Riverhounds’ defensive wall, the forward was able to reset from outside the box. This time he wouldn’t be denied. Burke executed on his second chance at the Pittsburgh net in two minutes, giving Steel FC a 1-0 lead.
Only minutes before the halftime whistle, Pittsburgh’s attack finally showed signs of life. The Riverhounds threatened with a great look from in front of the Bethlehem net. But Steel FC goalkeeper John McCarthy made a phenomenal save, instantly denying the Riverhounds’ newfound momentum.
As oppose to the first half, both teams came out of the gate ready for action. The teams went toe-to-toe for intense stretch, trading blows as both teams’ forwards consistently started to find dangerous space.
Even though both teams were successful in creating opportunities in the second half, Bethlehem and Pittsburgh were equally unsuccessful in capitalizing on them.
Emotions flared towards the end of the match with a yellow card being issued to Riverhounds midfielder Conor Branson after his hard foul on Josh Heard.
Steel FC continued the tempo past the 90-minute mark, pressing the Pittsburgh defense and finally capitalized after Josh Heard was fouled inside of the box.
Bethlehem forward Leo Fernandes stepped to the net to take what resulted in a game-ending dagger. Almost immediately after his screaming blast was deflected into the corner of the net, the final whistle sounded in a 2-0 win for Steel FC.
Steel FC will return to action in Goodman Stadium at noon Thursday, July 14 against Wilmington Hammerheads FC. The mid-day showdown will be Bethlehem’s second match of a six-game consecutive home stretch. Single game and group tickets are available by visiting bethlehemsteelfc.com or by calling 844-STEELFC.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0
Shots: 5-13 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 3-4 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 2-5 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 2-3 (Bethlehem)
24’ Cory Burke
90 + 2’ Leo Fernandes (PK)
59’ – PIT Ryan Adeleye (Yellow Card)
70’ – BSFC Derrick Jones (Yellow Card)
85’ – PIT Conor Branson (Yellow Card)
85’ – BST Taylor Washington (Yellow Card)
87’ – BST Gabriel Gissie (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
John McCarthy; Ryan Richter ©, Mickey Daly, Auston Trusty, Taylor Washington; Boluwatife Akinyode, James Chambers (Gabe Gissie 80’), Derrick Jones; Leo Fernandes, Cole Missimo (Josh Heard 70’), Cory Burke (James Luchini 89’)
Substitutes not used: Badr Samir; Nick Bibbs; Helbert Frederico Carriera Da Silva, Amoy Brown
PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS STARTING XI
Hunter Gilstrab; Marhsall Hollingsworth, Ryan Adeleye (Will Hunt 77’), Sergio Campbell, Mike Green (Nick Thompson 80’); Danny Earls, Kevin Kerr ©, Zak Boggs, Jack Thompson; Lebo Mocoto, Corey Hertzog
Substitutes not used:
Matthew Kreitzer, Jaroslaw Werel (Assistant), Mark Treilman (Assistant), Melvin Holmes II (Fourth)
· Cory Burke tallied his second goal of the season in the 24th minute.
· John McCarthy returned to Bethlehem, making his ninth appearance for Steel FC this season after he was called up to Philadelphia Union.
· Leo Fernandes scored his first USL goal of the season on a PK kick in stoppage time.
· This game improves the Steel’s home record to 3-2-2. They will be playing five more consecutive home games
ABOUT BETHLEHEM STEEL FC
Bethlehem Steel FC joined the United Soccer League officially on Oct. 27, 2015. Based in Bethlehem, Pa. in the Lehigh Valley, it is the official USL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. Also owned and operated by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the team started their inaugural season on March 25, 2016 at FC Montreal and played the home opener at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium on April 3, 2016. For more information about Bethlehem Steel FC, visit www.bethlehemsteelfc.com.