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Bethlehem Steel FC Falls to Indy Eleven 2-1

September 15, 2019 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Bethlehem Steel FC News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Fueled by a strong win at home over Swope Park Rangers and a comeback draw away to a powerful North Carolina FC team, Bethlehem Steel FC gave the Eastern Conference's second-placed side, Indy Eleven, a run for their money in their own building. The two sides played to a 2-1 win in favor of Indy in the home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, with the hosts breaking out all the stops to get the three points.

Steel FC made a strong showing against Indy Eleven in the first half, holding the hosts scoreless through halftime in front of a 12,000 plus crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium. Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Matt Freese came up big, making a total of four saves in his return to the Steel, including a massive diving save to keep the sides level in the first 45. A header was put down to the left of the shot stopper, as he dove into the net and narrowly kept the ball out. The Pennsylvania side would continue showing defensive strength, holding a 0-0 score line until the 57th minute. The Eleven broke the deadlock through an Ilija Ilic goal that required a near-perfect touch to beat Matt Freese.

When asked to step up for Steel FC, Ben Ofeimu was there. The defender got on the end of a Michee Ngalina cross, as the ball fell to his feet at the top of the six-yard box to level for the Steel. A first-time touch sent the ball into the net for Ofeimu's second goal all-time, giving Ngalina his second assist of the season. The tie wouldn't last long, with Indy burying an 80th-minute strike that was just as impressive as their first. USL legend Dane Kelly, who was brought on as a substitute in an Ilsinho-esque manner, was the man with the game-winning goal for the Indiana side. The match would end as a 2-1 loss for Steel FC, despite a strong showing on the road from Brendan Burke's side.

The Steel were active across their formation, with everyone getting involved in the match. Forward Yomi Samuele Scintu led the team with five tackles, while midfielder Zach Zandi won a team-high three fouls. Defender Walter Cortés, serving as team captain for this match, led his side in distribution with a passing accuracy of 84.8% and also had the most touches (63) of any Steel player. Midfielder Issa Rayyan led with a team-high three shots.

Bethlehem Steel FC next hosts Loudoun United FC in their next matchup on Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET for Kids Night at Talen Energy Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN +).

RECAP:

Bethlehem Steel FC 1 - Indy Eleven 2

Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

MATCH INFO:

Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

Referee: Kevin Broadley

Assistant Referees: Michael Nickerson; Jeffrey Swartzel

Fourth Official: Nabil Bensalah

Weather: 83 degrees and clear

Attendance: 12,103

GOALS/ASSISTS

IND - Ilija Ilic (Macauley King) 57'

BST - Ben Ofeimu (Michee Ngalina) 75'

IND - Dane Kelly (Tyler Pasher) 80'

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY

BST - Yomi Samuele Scintu (caution) 27'

IND - Karl Ouimette (caution) 66'

BST - Zach Zandi (caution) 73'

BST - Matt Freese (caution) 80'

IND - Dane Kelly (caution) 88'

IND - Macauley King (caution) 89'

BST -Ben Ofeimu (caution) 90+2'

LINEUP

Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese; Walter Cortés ©, Steve Kingue (James Chambers 46'), Ben Ofeimu, Nathan Harriel; Chavany Willis (Axel Picazo 83'), Cole Turner; Zach Zandi, Issa Rayyan; Yomi Samuele Scintu (Patrick Bohui 66'), Michee Ngalina

Substitutes not used: Todd Morton; Saed Díaz

Indy Eleven: Evan Newton; Neveal Hackshaw, Patrick Barrett ©, Karl Ouimette; Ayoze, Drew Conner, Tyler Gibson, Macauley King; Tyler Pasher (Kenney Walker 83'), Ilija Ilic (Dane Kelly 77'), Cristian Novoa (Matthew Watson 68')

Substitutes not used: Jordan Farr; Gabriel, Nicolas Perea, Eugene Starikov

TEAM NOTES

Bethlehem Steel FC defender Ben Ofeimu scored his second of the season for the club in tonight's match. The West Bloomfield, Michigan native's last goal came in the 4-3 comeback win at Swope Park Rangers (April 6) earlier this year. Ofeimu has made 22 appearances (21 starts), notching two goals and providing one assist.

Goalkeeper Matt Freese made his return in net for the Steel, playing in a USL Championship match for the first time since June 22, when the club hosted the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Philadelphia Union shot stopper made four saves in the match against Indy.

Philadelphia Union forward Michee Ngalina provided an assist in tonight's match, took two shots, put one on target and created four chances for the Steel against Indy Eleven. The helper was the 19-year-old's second of the season, as he returned to action with Steel FC after receiving playing time in the first team's international friendly against Liga MX side Pumas UNAM last weekend.

Steel FC was active across its formation, picking up help defensively from attacking players and strong passing from the back in the attack. Forward Yomi Samuele Scintu led the team with five tackles, while midfielder Zach Zandi won a team-high three fouls. Defender Walter Cortés, serving as team captain for this match, led his side in distribution with a passing accuracy of 84.8% and also had the most touches (63) of any Steel player. Midfielder Issa Rayyan led with a team-high three shots.

Bethlehem Steel FC next hosts Loudoun United FC in their next matchup on Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET for Kids Night at Talen Energy Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN +).


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