Philadelphia Union II / USL Match report

Match report: FC Montreal 3-2 Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel surrendered two goals in the final 15 minutes Sunday to turn an apparent victory into a 3-2 road defeat to last place FC Montreal.

Aron Mkungwila scored the game-winner for Montreal in the 90th minute to toss more dirt on the coffin housing Bethlehem’s playoff chances.

The wet and rainy conditions did their bit to liven up this battle between the Impact and Steel. Both teams pressed high up the pitch to force mistakes and the game was end to end with several excellent attacks from both sides.

Montreal’s forwards used their pace to latch onto incisive through balls from the Montreal midfield, and the Steel’s defense just could not keep up.

Bethlehem goalkeeper Samir Badr showed his impressive reflexes to deny Anthony Jackson in the 10th minute, but 20 minutes later, Jackson made a fantastic run into the box and struck the post to give Montreal the lead. This epitomized the back and forth nature of the game, as just moments before the Steel had run down the field and could have been awarded a penalty when Corey Burke was taken down inside the box.

Bethlehem’s best chance to level the score came to Derrick Jones, but the homegrown Union player failed to score with his weak foot.

Eric Ayuk subsequently had a brilliant run down the right and then cut inside, playing a low cross that came right to Jones.

The Steel equalized in the 40th minute as a sensational James Chambers free kick went off the post and in from about 35 yards out. It was an amazing piece of skill from the Irishman that gave the Steel hope going into halftime.

The frenetic pace continued into the second half, with Badr coming up huge several times throughout the match with clutch reflex saves, and Leo Fernandes was the X factor out widen attack for the Steel. The tricky winger used his technical ability to create multiple chances from inside the box, and eventually Bethlehem’s Josh Heard found himself inside the six. His shot rebounded off the keeper only for Burke to bury the shot and give the Steel the lead.

As the half wore on, Badr came up big with several excellent saves, but in the 80th minute, Steel’s young defense lost its focus. Montreal’s Thomas Mielleur found himself unmarked at the back post as a set piece fell to his feet, and he buried his shot to equalize.

The Steel tried to hold on, but they failed to contain Montreal, and soon the Canadian team found the winner on a quick counter. The ball was moved out wide to Mkungilwa who found the back of the net to take all three points and the Steel suffered another blow to playoff hopes.

Three points
  • Fernandes a consistent threat: Leo Fernandes earned man of the match for the Steel as his pace and trickery out wide created several opportunities for the visitors. He was constantly a threat going forward and his exciting and smart movement on and off the ball allowed for the Steel to take the lead.
  • Young defense falters again: Much like last week, the Steel’s youth and inexperience in defense led to a defeat. Auston Trusty and Taylor Washington failed to track of runs inside the box from a set piece that led to the Impact’s equalizer. Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke needs to put some work in on the training ground if he is serious about making the playoffs.
  • Jones solid but needs improvement: Though Derrick Jones has certainly earned his homegrown contract with the Union, parts of his game need work for him to be a force in the MLS. His weak foot needs to improve as does his finishing. His physical presence would make him a threat in the attacking third, but his shooting technique needs to improve before he can capitalize on his potential as a goal scoring midfielder.
Match stats

Shots: 11-11
Shots On Goal: 5-5
Corners: 5-4 (Montreal)
Saves: 3-2 (Montreal)

Scoring summary

MTL – Jackson, Anthony (Mkungilwa, Aron) 32’
BSFC – Chambers, James 40’
BSFC – Burke, Cory (Chambers, James) 50’
MTL – Meilleur, Thomas (Tabla, Ballou) 80’
MTL – Mkungilwa, Aron (Lincourt-Joseph) 90’

Discipline summary

2’ – MTL Anthony Jackson (Yellow Card)
44’ – MTL Ramirez Dominguez (Yellow Card)
63’ – BSFC James Chamber (Yellow Card)
90’ – BST Seku Conneh (Yellow Card)

Bethlehem lineup

Samir Badr; Taylor Washington, Auston Trusty, Anderson, Ryan Richter (C); James Chambers; Derrick Jones, Josh Heard (Justin McMaster 85’); Eric Ayuk, Leo Fernandes, Corey Burke (Seku Conneh 66’)

Substitutes not used: Amoy Brown, Ilson Pereira, Jamie Luchini, Fred, Nick Bibbs

Montreal lineup

Maxime Crépeau; Aron Mkungilwa, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, Kyle Fisher, Janouk Charbonneau; Marco Dominguez (Mastanabal Kacher 50’), Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé; Alessandro Riggi (Philippe Lincourt-Joseph 73’), Louis Béland-Goyette (Nevello Yoseke 90’+2’), Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla; Anthony Jackson-Hamel

Substitutes not used: Subs : David Paulmin, Jems Geffrard, Zachary Sukunda, Heikel Jarras


  1. Good learning experience for them.

  2. Are there two Leo Fernandes’?!

  3. Is there any word on what is going on with the Daly loan? It has now been a month so Carolina either have to return him or make a full purchase.

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