Northampton Press

Monday, March 18, 2019

Article By: The Press

Thursday, July 19, 2018 by The Press in Sports

Steel fights back for tie

Trailing by a goal, Bethlehem Steel FC fought back with a second-half strike to extend its unbeaten streak at home to eight, drawing North Carolina FC, 1-1.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Adam Najem provided the equalizing strike, offsetting a first half goal from North Carolina FC’s Marcel Kandziora. The goal was Najem’s second as a member of Steel FC and the fourth of his USL career. On the tying goal, Steel FC rookie Drew Skundrich collected his second assist in as many home games.

“I don’t think that we were particularly good in the first half but you walk away from a game where they had one shot on target in the game and you draw 1-1 again at home,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said after the match. “Disappointing given the effort we put forward in the second half. I was really happy with the effort in the second half and the intent to get into the box a little bit quicker. I hate using that word but we were really unlucky there at the end.”

The lone shot from North Carolina came in the 22nd minute as leading scorer Daniel Rios played a soft pass to Kadziora at the top of the box. The 28-year old put a left-footed shot that sneaked through the defense and into the lower left corner.

Steel FC responded with another strong second-half performance, taking nine shots and placing four on frame.

The club needed just 11 minutes to tie the contest, as Najem fired a right-footed shot inside the far post.

Both teams pushed for a winning goal including a final second chance from Steel FC but James Chambers’ shot inside the box was blocked.

Steel FC concludes its busy stretch of four matches in 13 days when it makes the short trip to battle rival New York Red Bulls II. Kick off from the MSU Soccer Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Service Electric and ESPN+.