Steel battle back from a one-goal deficit, twice, to beat Loudoun United FC
CHESTER, Pa. - Bethlehem Steel FC scored the most goals that they have in a single game all-time en route to a dominant 5-2 victory over Loudoun United FC. Zach Zandi and James Chambers both marked goals, as well as assists, while Philadelphia Union forward Michee Ngalina tied Faris for the most goals on the team this season.
The Steel found themselves down early as Loudoun came out with a high press that seemed to give the backline some trouble. This resulted in a Gordon Wild goal in the second minute. As the Steel have shown of late, they weren't out of the match that early and continued to fight, building chances in the attack to equalize. The Pennsylvania side was finally able to breakthrough in the 35th minute, as Issa Rayyan dribbled the ball to the touchline, put in a low centering cross which was then flicked on by Cole Turner. The flick allowed the ball to fall right to the feet of team captain James Chambers, who had an easy tap in for his fifth goal of the season. Loudoun was able to snag one back before the half.
The second half was all Steel, early and often. The Boys in Blue found an early equalizer in the 47th minute from Zach Zandi. Just two minutes later the Steel were right back at it, with Issa Rayyan getting in on the action, giving the Steel a much deserved lead. As Loudoun continued to push forward to try and get some sort of offense going, Michee Ngalina was able to finish off his impressive night with a goal of his own. Zandi put Ngalina through at midfield and the speed of Michee was just too much for the visiting defense, as the forward increased the lead to 4-2. The night was capped off by an impressive solo run from Union Academy midfielder Axel Picazo, who came on as a sub in the 73rd minute. Picazo used a combination of fancy footwork and speed to dribble past defenders and into the box where he earned himself a penalty kick. He earned it, so he took it. Picazo stepped up to the spot, sent the keeper the wrong way and rifled the ball into the bottom left corner to seal the game, three points and his first Steel FC goal.
The Steel have now won back-to-back home games for the first time this year. The score sheet also saw five different players get tallies and four with assists. The Steel will look to continue this run of form when they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, September 21 (7:30 p.m. ET | Al Lang Stadium | St. Petersburg, Fla. | ESPN +).
Bethlehem Steel FC 5 - Loudoun United FC 2
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Referee: Daniel Gutierrez
Assistant Referees: Patrick Casey; Justen Lopez
Fourth Official: Joseph Franks
Weather: 70 degrees and clear
LDN - Gordon Wild (Jeremy Garay) 2'
BST - James Chambers (Cole Turner) 35'
LDN - Kyle Murphy (Gordon Wild) 45'
BST - Zach Zandi (Faris) 47'
BST - Issa Rayyan (James Chambers) 49'
BST - Michee Ngalina (Zach Zandi) 80'
BST - Axel Picazo (Penalty Kick) 90+1'
BST - Michee Ngalina (caution) 58'
BST - James Chambers (caution) 84'
LDN - Carlos Alvarez (ejection) 90'
Bethlehem Steel FC: Todd Morton; Matt Real, Cole Turner, Ben Ofeimu, Olivier Mbaizo; James Chambers ©, Chavany Willis; Zach Zandi, Issa Rayyan (Axel Picazo 73'); Faris (Shanyder Bogelin 67'), Michee Ngalina (Patrick Bohui 83')
Substitutes not used: Lukas Burns; Walter Cortes, Nathan Harriel, Yomi Samuele Scintu
Loudoun United FC: Earl Edwards; Chris Odoi-Atsem (Connor Presley 31'), Harri Hawkins, Collin Verfurth, Jacob Green; Jeremy Garay (Carlos Alvarez 70'), Antonio Bustamante, Griffin Yow, Gordon Wild, Theodore Ku-Dipietro; Kyle Murphy © (Andrew Lubahn 60')
Substitutes not used: Calle Brown; Orlando Sinclair, Shane Wiedt
Bethlehem Steel FC captain James Chambers scored his fifth goal of the season and recorded his fourth helper this year. He now has 10 career assists for the club, which ties him for second all-time with Adam Najem. Chambers also lead his side in passing accuracy, producing a mark of 89.6% through the end of the match.
Philadelphia Union Academy midfielder Axel Picazo scored his first goal for Steel FC in last night's match. The achievement comes in his 13th appearance for the club.
Midfielder Zach Zandi tallied his third goal of the year, as well as his sixth assist of the season. Zandi lead the Steel, along with Michee Ngalina and Matt Real, with a team-high four shots against Loudoun United.
Michee Ngalina now has six goals on the season which ties his fellow teammate, Faris, for the most goals on the team. The Philadelphia Union forward took four shots last night and put two of those on target.
Issa Rayyan continues to add to his season total in goals, picking up his fourth of the year. The midfielder won a team-high two fouls against Loudoun.
Faris recorded his first assist of the season and had a team-high two shots on target for the night. The Cameroonian forward is also the team's goal leader in 2019, along with Michee Ngalina, with six total goals this year.
Philadelphia Union defender Matt Real made a game-high eight tackles for Steel FC. Nobody else in the match came close to his defensive production, with Axel Picazo for the Steel and Theodore Ku-Dipietro for Loudoun coming in second with three each.
Bethlehem Steel FC next travels to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies this Saturday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. ET | Al Lang Stadium | St. Petersburg, Fla. | ESPN +).
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