CHARLESTON, S.C. (September 10, 2016) – Bethlehem Steel FC concluded the road portion of its inaugural season with a 2-1 loss to Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium.
Steel FC (6-13-9) came out aggressive on the road, forcing Charleston (12-7-9) turnovers deep inside their side of the field. After earning the first corner kick of the match, a quick build up put the home team on the board first. Ataullah Guerra found space behind the Steel FC line and layed it off for Maikel Chang who fired it past a diving Steel FC goalkeeper Matthew Perrella.
A great defensive play kept the score at 1-0 when former No. 3 selection Romario Williams found space on a long ball from the midfield. With a potential 1-on-1 chance looming, Nick Bibbs ran down the forward and prevented a shot with a slide tackle inside the 18-yard box.
Bethlehem Steel FC used the play to turn the momentum as the trio of Justin McMaster, Erik Ayuk and Corey Burke caused problems for the Battery defense. Both McMaster and Ayuk found space and created chances on the flanks however Charleston’s goalkeeper Alex Tambakis denied an equalizer.
Steel FC tied it up in the 35th minute on a penalty kick. Philadelphia Union captain Maurice Edu set up the play as he played a long ball into the box that Burke ran down before being fouled. Derrick Jones stepped calmly to the spot and powered into the back of the net.
The tie was short lived as Charleston retook the lead in the 39th minute on a quick cross as Guerra got a slight touch on the ball from Ricky Garbanzo to make it 2-1 at the half.
Steel FC saw more strong defensive stops in the second half to keep within striking distance. In the 56th minute, Perrella denied a scoring chance with a quick diving save to his left. Three minutes later, Edu came to the rescue with a timely challenge inside the box. In the 75th minute, Bibbs was called upon again as he got a foot on a low shot feet from the goal line.
Bethlehem Steel FC earned its best chance of an equalizer come moments apart from substitute Joshua Heard. Just three minutes after entering the match, he delivered a low cross to Burke that was blocked inside the box by Charleston. Seconds later, Heard got behind the defensive line only to lose possession on a slide tackle.
Steel FC returns to home for its final two matches of its inaugural season when they host Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday, Sept. 18. Kickoff from Goodman Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, Charleston 2
MUSC Health Stadium
Shots: 15-8 (Charleston)
Shots On Goal: 6-4 (Charleston)
Corners: 2-4 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 3-4 (Bethlehem)
CHS – 10’ Maikel Chang (Ataullah Guerra)
BST – 35’ Derrick Jones (PK)
CHS – 39’ Ataullah Guerra (Ricky Garbonzo)
BST – 32’ – James Chambers (Yellow Card)
CHS – 34’ – Shawn Ferguson (Yellow Card)
BST – 41’ – Corey Burke (Yellow Card)
BST – 43’ – Maurice Edu (Yellow Card)
CHS – 45’ – O’Brian Woodbine (Yellow Card)
BST – 53’ – Taylor Washington (Yellow Card)
CHS – 53’ – Ricky Garbanzo (Yellow Card)
BST – 71’ – Nick Bibbs (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Matt Perrella; Ryan Richter, Nick Bibbs, Auston Trusty, Taylor Washington (Josue Monge 80’); Maurice Edu©, Derrick Jones, James Chambers; Eric Ayuk (Cole Missimo 76’), Justin McMaster (Josh Heard 65’), Corey Burke
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Bolu Akinyode, Gabe Gissie, Amoy Brown
CHARLESTON BATTERY STARTING XI
Alex Tambakis; Quiton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Shawn Ferguson, O’Brian Woodbine; Maikel Chang (Dante Marini 77’), Justin Portillo, Attulla Guerra (Heviel Cordoves 84’), Andrew Carlton (Jeffrey Otoo 65’); Ricky Garbanzo (Zach Prince 73’), Romario Williams (Jeremy Ebobisse 46’)
Substitutes not used: Odisnel Cooper, Forrest Lasso