LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Bethlehem Steel FC saw its historic 2017 season come to an end in the USL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as the club fell to conference champions Louisville City FC, 4-0.
Facing off against the top squad in the USL’s Eastern Conference, Louisville jumped out to the early lead on a set piece goal in the 14th minute. After a foul around midfield, Louisville City FC floated a ball into the box that was flicked on by Paco Craig. The ball found its way to Tarek Morad in front of goal and defender slotted past goalkeeper Jake McGuire.
Steel FC looked to respond minutes later, with a strong play from defender Matt Real. Expecting a pass into the midfield, the 18-year-old intercepted the pass and dribble into the offensive side of the pitch. After a laying it off for Chris Nanco, Real regathered it and fired a shot that was blocked inside the box.
While McGuire turned in a strong first half that saw five saves, including a fingertip stop in the 27th minute, Louisville City FC doubled its lead on a timely bounce off the crossbar. In search of a tying goal, the hosts launched a counter attack that saw a shot from Sean Totsch crash off the woodwork and fall to Morad, who tapped it in.
Steel FC came out on the front foot in the second half, claiming the first three corners of the half. After a pair of chances inside the host’s 18-yard-box, captain James Chambers nearly got Steel FC on the scoresheet as his shot was fired wide of the left post.
Louisville City’s Luke Spencer and Brian Ownby added goals in the second half as the two-time Eastern Conference finalists advanced.
Bethlehem Steel FC 0, Louisville City FC 4
(USL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals)
Louisville Slugger Field
Shots: 18-10 (Louisville)
Shots On Goal: 11-1 (Louisville)
Corners: 6-4 (Louisville)
Saves: 7-1 (Bethlehem)
LOU – 14’ Tarek Morad (Paco Craig)
LOU – 31’ Tarek Morad
LOU – 70’ Luke Spencer (Oscar Jimenez)
LOU – 79’ Brian Ownby (Luke Spencer)
BST – 57’ Matt Real (Yellow Card)
BST – 63’ Cory Burke (Yellow Card)
BST – 75’ Seku Conneh (Yellow Card)
BST – 88’ Derrick Jones (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Derrick Jones, Adam Najem (Brenden Aaronson 79’); Chris Nanco (Yosef Samuel 66’), Cory Burke (Josh Heard 74’), Seku Conneh.
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Matthew Mahoney, Charlie Reymann, Michael Pellegrino.
LOUISVILLE CITY FC STARTING XI
Greg Ranjistsingh; Kyle Smith, Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Tarek Morad, Oscar Jimenez; Paolo DelPiccolo, Devon Williams, George Davis IV (Richard Ballard 73’), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Brian Ownby 55’); Luke Spencer (Ilija Ilic 87’).
Substitutes not used: Tim Dobrowolski, Sean Reynolds, Guy Abend, Niall McCabe.
LVHN TEAM NOTES
• Tonight’s match was Bethlehem Steel FC first appearance in the USL Playoffs.
• With the loss, Steel FC caps off the 2017 season with a 12-13-7 overall record.
Information courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC.