Bethlehem Steel FC saw its four-match winning streak come to an end Friday night, falling to second-place Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4-1.
Facing off against a veteran-filled side on the road, the Riverhounds used their experience to strike first in the contest. After Steel FC conceded a foul in the middle of the pitch, MLS-veteran Ben Zemanski served up a cross that connected with defender Joe Greenspan that was tucked past Philadelphia Union goalkeeper John McCarthy.
Steel FC battled back into the contest after conceding early, nearly equalizing as the 18-year-old duo of Michee Ngalina and Faris looked to score in the box but were blocked by the defense. Ngalina continued to create chances on the right side of the pitch as he made a near post run that mistimed with Brenden Aaronson.
After a diving stop by McCarthy on the defensive side of the field, Faris earned Steel FC a chance from the penalty spot as he was fouled by the goalscorer Greenspan. Team captain James Chambers calmly tied up the contest with a right-footed strike that beat the keeper in the 35th minute.
With the first half winding down, Pittsburgh retook the lead on a long-distance chance from Kenardo Forbes. Collecting a pass from Neco Brett, Forbes dribbled outside the box before launching a right-footed try that snuck inside the upper 90 to give the Riverhounds the lead at the break.
Steel FC was tested in the first 10 minutes of the second half as the Riverhounds looked for an insurance goal early but the defense stood strong with stops by McCarthy and a block from Prosper Chiluya. After absorbing the initial pressure, Steel FC regained momentum but was unable to find the back of the net.
With the visitors looking to strike, the Riverhounds took advantage with two goals in three minutes to claim the three points as Neco Brett and Jordan Dover provided the insurance strikes to give the home side the three points.
With 30 matches behind them, Bethlehem Steel FC heads into the bye week looking to finish its 2018 campaign strong over the final four matches. Steel FC returns to action on Saturday, September 22, against Toronto FC II for the club’s Annual “Go Gold” match. Kick off from Goodman Stadium from the campus of Lehigh University is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will broadcast live on Service Electric and ESPN+.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4
Shots: 24-6 (Pittsburgh)
Shots on goal: 9-2 (Pittsburgh)
Corners: 4-2 (Pittsburgh)
Saves: 5-1 (Bethlehem)
PGH – 17’ Joe Greenspan (Ben Zemanski)
BST – 35’ James Chambers (Penalty Kick)
PGH – 45’ Kenardo Forbes (Ben Zemanski)
PGH – 76’ Neco Brett (Ben Zemanski)
PGH – 79’ Jordan Dover (Ray Lee)
PGH – 56’ Mouhamed Dabo (Yellow Card)
BST – 90’ Brandon Aubrey (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
John McCarthy; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; James Chambers, Drew Skundrich; Marcus Epps (Santi Moar 62’), Brenden Aaronson (Chris Nanco 77’), Michee Ngalina; Faris (Aidan Apodaca 62’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, AJ Paterson, Ben Ofeimu.
PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS STARTING XI
Mike Kirk; Tobi Adewole, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Joe Greenspan; Ray Lee, Ben Zemanski (Joe Holland 82’), Mouhamed Dabo, Jordan Dover; Romeo Parkes (Noah Franke 75’), Kenardo Forbes, Neco Brett (Kay Banjo 82’).
Substitutes not used: Nathan Ingham, Joe Holland, Hugh Roberts, Andrew Lubahn, Kay Banjo, Benjamin Fitzpatrick.
Officials: Daniel Gutierrez (Referee), Tom Felice (Assistant Referee), Justin Frear (Assistant Referee), Paul Daverse (Fourth Official).
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