Bethlehem Steel FC saw its season-long five-match unbeaten streak come to an end on the road, falling on the road at rival Penn FC, 3-2.
Bethlehem Steel FC jumped out to the early lead with a strike from Philadelphia Union midfielder Fabian Herbers in the 17th minute of play. The German international collected a pass from Santi Moar, spinning to his left and taking four touches before firing a right-footed shot pass Penn FC’s Romu Peiser. The assist was Moar’s 11th of his career, becoming the club’s all-time leader.
The lead didn’t last for long as the hosts used their aerial awareness to strike for two goals in five minutes. After Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire made a diving save on a shot from Isaac Osae, the rebound was chased down by Frederick Opuku at the far post and fired into the back of the net at the tight angle. The hosts took the lead in the 25th minute once again off a McGuire save. Off a set piece, McGuire tipped Paulo Junior’s off the crossbar but Lucky Mkosasa found himself open inside the box and finished it off the play for his sixth goal of the year.
After getting outshot by a 17-5 margin in the first half, Steel FC return to the pitch looking for an equalizer early in the final period which the hosts took advantage of. Forcing a turnover in the midfield, Mkosana changed the point of attack with a pass to Isaac Osae at the edge of the box. Unmarked on the quick buildup, the Ghanian beat the keeper with a hard right-footed shot into the upper 90.
With the deficit at two, Steel FC nearly got a goal back in the 66th minute. After earning a free kick, Moar lifted a cross to the far post toward an unmarked Drew Skundrich at the far post but the rookie was unable to get a header on the service.
Seeking some magic much like the contest against New York Red Bulls II, Steel FC trimmed the Penn FC lead to one in the 82nd minute. Pushing hard for a result, outside back Olivier Mbaizo came forward with a run into the 18-yard-box and was taken down by Calvin Rezende. Herbers calmly beat the keeper with a conversion from the penalty spot which ultimately ended the scoring.
Steel FC has little time to dwell on the match as it continues a busy slate at Atlanta United 2 on Wednesday, July 11. The inaugural contest will be held at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA., and is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.