USL - Bethlehem Steel FC

Match report: Indy Eleven 1-2 Bethlehem Steel

Photo: Rob Simmons

Home of the upcoming Indianapolis 500, Indy Eleven play in a city known for speed.

Little did it know, so do Bethlehem Steel.

Speed, not in the form of Indy Cars, but of footballers.

Fresh off of their first shut-out of the season, Bethlehem were off to the races against USL newcomers Indy Eleven, with goals from Santi Moar and Prosper Chilyula propelling the team to a 2-1 win — their first on the road this season.

The first half was not that of the first halves Steel supporters have come to expect as of late.

All three of Bethlehem’s previous matches were games in which they took control of early and created the majority of chances. Not tonight. Indy spent the opening minutes taking the game to the boys in white, looking much the better side. Bethlehem struggled early with several misplayed passes in the attacking third, a couple slip-ups on Lucas Oil Stadium’s artificial surface, and the general sloppiness you could expect to see from a team playing their third match in a week’s time.

Indy’s biggest threat looked to be coming from the wing positions — more specifically, former Philadelphia Union standout and MLS All-Star Jack McInerney. McInerney, who bagged 25 career goals for the Steel’s parent club, was dominating the left side of the pitch all evening.

But Indy couldn’t notch a first-half goal to cement their dominance. The first half came and went and Lucas Oil Stadium was left with nothing but the echos of referee Elvis Osmanovic’s whistle.

Both sides opened up to full throttle in the second period.

In the 49th minute, a long, bouncing ball toward keeper Jake McGuire caught himself and defender Matt Mahoney off guard and Jack McInerney found himself with an open net. McInerney, though, had no angle to shoot and ultimately the chance was wasted.

Bethlehem settled in from that point forward. Out of halftime, there was an emphasis on pressing higher up the field and using their speed up top, with the tempo set by captain Derrick Jones. Jones looked like a man on a mission, just as he has all season. With firm challenges to win the ball in the midfield and quick feet to retain possession in the final third, Jones is looking like the box-to-box midfielder the Union have been hoping he would become.

The Steel’s first goal would come in the 60th minute off of a throw-in earned by the captain after a terrific defensive effort. The ball fell nicely for Fabian Herbers at the corner of the box, who was able to slide a ball across to Santi Moar’s left foot. Taking the ball coolly in stride, Moar took one touch with his left onto his preferred right and slotted the ball just inside the right post.

The high from jumping out to a 1-0 lead was short-lived. Indy’s star man McInerney slid into a more central position looking to make an impact and played a cheeky clipped pass into the path of Soony Saad. Saad then took the pass off the volley to find an open Zach Steinberger, who notched his first goal in nearly three years.

Bethlehem responded by sticking to their strategy. Keeping up the pressure, the Steel earned a series of corners. Left back Prosper Chilyula was the benefactor of a poor clearance, with a ball landing directly at his feet 30 yards from goal. The 20-year-old Zambian took his chance well as he fired a vicious strike that dipped and swerved into the same bottom corner that Moar found just 14 minutes prior. Chilyula’s goal was not only the winner, but his first for the Steel.

The personal meaning of Chilyula’s goal could be felt in his celebration, as he fell to his knees and pointed to the heavens through Lucas Oil Stadium’s open roof. Chilyula became Bethlehem’s twelfth different scorer on the season and twenty-fifth in club history.

Three Points
  1. Finding their Identity: Having mass amounts of young talent and energy is nothing new to Bethlehem. What is new about this squad? A true identity. In the past few games especially, coach Brendan Burke has made it a point to get on the front foot of matches with high pressure from forwards and midfield players. Burke spoke highly of New York Red Bulls’ similar style after Wednesday’s 3-0 win, and it is clearly a mentality he has adopted and this team is responding well to.
  2. Derrick Jones: Jones has been left behind by the Union thus far. Could that be the best thing that could have happened to him? From the get-go Jones has been proving his worth as a true box-to-box midfielder, the midfielder the Union had hoped he would become. Today’s match exemplified just how important he can be to any squad, with his willingness to lead from the front by setting the tempo of matches with his tackles in midfield and his ability to pick a pass in the attack. We could be seeing the homegrown talent in Chester sooner rather than later.
  3. First road win, first road points: All of Bethlehem’s points have come from matches at Goodman Stadium. That means no points have come on the road. For those new to sports, that isn’t good. Playoff contenders need results on the road, so going from zero points to three is a good start. The Steel will look to ride this momentum into their next match in Ottawa on Friday.
Lineups

Indy Eleven:

Owain Fon Williams; Ayoze, Carlyle Mitchell (Brad Rusin 45’), Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas; Brad Ring, Soony Saad, Zach Steinberger, Nathan Lewis (Ben Speas 72’); Justin Braun, Jack McInerney

Substitutes not used: Jordan Farr, Nico Matern, Juan Guerra, Seth Mose, Amass Amankona.

Bethlehem Steel:

Jake McGuire; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; Derrick Jones, Adam Najem; Michee Ngalina (Drew Skundrich 70’), Santi Moar (Mike Catalano 90+2’), Fabian Herbers; Aidan Apodaca (Chris Nanco 74’)

Substitutes not used: Kris Shakes, AJ Paterson, Tonny Temple.

 

Discipline

Bethlehem – Brandon Aubrey 15′ Yellow (foul)

Indy – Carlyle Mitchell 41′ Yellow (foul)

Bethlehem – Derrick Jones 83′ Yellow (foul)

 

Scoring

Bethlehem – Santi Moar (Fabian Herbers) 60′

Indy – Zach Steinberger (Soony Saad) 70′

Bethlehem – Prosper Chilyula 74′

4 Comments

  1. Indy 11 is like a who’s who, of ex MLS players. Jack Mac, Soony Saad, Karl Ouimette, and I think Brad Ring. USL is now MLS 1.5?

  2. Where can i watch BSFC games for free??

    • All matches are available on the USL youtube page 7 days after the match (according to the USL website – I have not verified this info).

    • Rob Simmons says:

      ESPN+ is $4.99 a month. You get all the USL matches, majority of MLS matches, and a good amount of other content not found on the usual ESPN channels. Not free, but well worth it.

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