Bethlehem Steel FC fell in its final match of May, falling to Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0.
As fans at TD Place made their way to their seats, Ottawa Fury FC jumped on the scoreboard just with a goal from Kevin Oliveira just 42 seconds in. Steevan Dos Santos began the run after winning the ball in the midfield that was flicked toward Adonijah Reid. Reid backheeled it back to Dos Santos and found Oliveira on the wing and running toward the goal. With Steel FC defenders rushing back to their own net, Oliveira lifted a shot that kissed off the far post and into the net.
Despite the very early deficit, Steel FC looked to respond with chances from midfielders James Chambers and Adam Najem. The duo earned chances minutes apart as Najem flicked a pass to Chambers who fired a left-footed curler that was saved by Ottawa goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau. Two minutes later, Chambers repaid the favor to Najem but once again Ottawa made the stop.
With the first half winding down, both teams created a dangerous chance but were unable to notch goals. Aidan Apodaca found space on a counter attack in the 42nd minute and chipped the keeper only to see his effort cleared at the goal line. In first-half stoppage time, the post returned to Steel FC’s side as Ottawa’s Carl Haworth struck off the woodwork before the halftime whistle.
Steel FC pushed for an equalizer in the second half, pushing attack after attack over the final 45 minutes but were unable to snap Ottawa’s shutout streak which extended to five matches. Philadelphia Union Academy forward Jeremy Rafanello created a pair of dangerous chances in his team and league debut with his first coming in the 70th minute. Building off a defensive stand at the edge of the box, Najem fired a cross toward the 18-year-old. With a defender leaning in, the forward took a touch and saw his right-footed blast tipped over the bar. In stoppage time, Union defender Matt Real first a cross into the box but the Ottawa’s Crépeau beat the 18-year-old to it.
While the squad fought for an equalizer, Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire was called upon to make a pair of diving stops to keep it a one-goal deficit. After stopping an in-swinging corner headed for a goal in the 56th minute, McGuire denied Cristian Portilla with an aerial stop to his left. The 23-year-old followed up again with a diving stop in the 87th minute, denying Oliveria from a brace.
Steel FC wraps up its current three-game road swing next weekend with an inaugural visit to North Carolina FC. Kick off from WakeMed Soccer Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 0, Ottawa Fury FC 1
TD Place Stadium
Shots: 14-9 (Ottawa)
Shots On Goal: 3-3
Corners: 5-2 (Ottawa)
Saves: 3-2 (Ottawa)
OTT – 1’ Kevin Oliveira (Steevan Dos Santos)
OTT – 30’ Nana Attakora (Yellow Card)
BST – 43’ Santi Moar (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Matt Real, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; James Chambers (Drew Skundrich 63’), Derrick Jones; Santi Moar, Adam Najem, Michee Ngalina (Chris Nanco 63’); Aidan Apodaca (Jeremy Rafanello 66’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, AJ Paterson, Prosper Chiluya, Mike Catalano.
OTTAWA FURY FC STARTING XI
Maxime Crépeau; Onua Obasi, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, Nana Attakora, Eddie Edward; Kévin Oliveira, Cristian Portilla (Azake Luboyera 90’), Jamar Dixon (Sergio Manesio 83’); Adonijah Reid (Tony Taylor 66’), Steevan Dos Santos, Carl Haworth.
Substitutes not used: David Monsalve, Monti Mohsen, Kyle Porter, Chris Mannella.
Officials: Pierre-Luc Lauzière, Andre Pickler (Assistant), Philippe Bettez Quessy (Assistant), Matt Souaré (Fourth Official).
LVHN TEAM NOTES