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Match report: Bethlehem Steel FC 0-3 Ottawa Fury FC

Photo: Rob Simmons

Haitian international and Newark, NJ native Christiano Francois contributed to all three of Ottawa Fury’s goals, tallying one goal and two assists on a night that Bethlehem Steel FC did not look up to the challenge, losing 3-0 at home for the second time this season.

Bethlehem Steel struggled to grab a hold of the ball in the opening minutes in what began as a tightly contested first 30 minutes of play.

After minutes of near meaningless possession from the visitors, Steel slowly began to grow into the game, sending a plethora of crosses into the box.

Momentum began to build and with 10 minutes gone from the referee’s watch, Steel were awarded a free kick in an area of some danger to Ottawa’s goal.

Inches from the edge of the 18 yard box, experienced Steel and Union defender Olivier Mbaizo stood over the ball, poised to make an instant impact. Needing to curl the ball quite spectacularly up and over Ottawa’s four man wall, the Cameroonian sent the ball straight into the grateful arms of keeper Callum Irving.

Back on the other end, Carlos Coronel was forced into an early first save of many from a free kick conceded by a yellow card offense by Sunday’s captain, Fabinho, when he looked to cut out a counterattack.

Both teams were in full on attacking mode by the 20th minute when Mbaizo had an eye for goal once again after skipping past a defender at the end line and earning his side a corner via a much stronger save from Irving.

Faris Moumbagna was running a track meet down the left hand side of the pitch the whole first half, beating Ottawa’s Nana Attakora for pace on several occasions and none bigger than his chance in the 27th minute.

Fabinho slipped the youngster through on goal followed by a quick turn of pace from Faris but dragged his shot just wide in what was the best chance for either team to that point.

As with much of the 2019 season, luck just has not been on Steel FC’s side. Possession was picking up, momentum was turning and the boys in blue looked well on their way to snagging a goal. That was looking to be the case until a bit of beautiful build up play from Ottawa left Bethlehem’s backline exposed, allowing right back and captain Carl Haworth to connect cleanly with Francois for a tap-in goal that was as easy as you’d like.

It could have easily been viewed as an acceptable first half in the eyes of Steel manager Brendan Burke, but the team was left rather discouraged by the performance entering the locker room.

The second half began much like how the second half ended for Bethlehem. Looking lethargic and dejected, Ottawa commanded play.

Fury FC’s compact midfield proved to be a formidable opponent in its breaking down.

With Ottawa’s defense holding its own, the forwards from Canada’s capital city solidified their lead when Francois turned provider this time—laying a cross off to the right foot of midfielder Wal Fall who curled a perfectly placed finesse shot past Coronel’s outstretched arm.

Steel began to look disinterested in taking anything away from this game and it showed on Ottawa’s third and final goal. Christiano Francois burned Fabinho, who chased back with a jog, leaving Carlos Coronel with a two verse one situation to defend.

The Brazilian keeper was left helpless when Francois picked out striker Mour Samb for the easy tap in.

It was the third goal scored coming from Fabinho’s left side of the field.

Bethlehem return to action next week against back-to-back USL champions Louisville City SC on May 26th.

Three points

Home woes

Steel are now 1-4-2 at their new home in Chester at Talen Energy Stadium. A far cry from 2018, when Goodman Field at Lehigh was a fortress for them.

Francois is good

The Haitian looked to be in a class of his own on the pitch today, tallying one goal and two assists en route to a man of the match performance.

Out of sync

The constant rotation and uncertainty of availability has always plagued this Steel squad, but it has showed this year. They look discombobulated as a whole.

Lineups

Bethlehem Steel

Carlos Coronel; Fabinho (C), Ben Ofeimu, Jamoi Topey, Olivier Mbaizo; James Chambers, Charany Willis, Anthony Fontana (Shandyder Borgelin), Walter Cortes (Patrick Bohui); Michee Ngalina, Faris Moumbagna

Unused substitutes

Tomas Romero, Issa Rayyan, Steve Kingue, Nathan Harriel

Ottawa Fury

Callum Irving; Jermey Lapare, Nana Attakora, Thomas Meilleur, Carl Haworth; Charlie Ward, Chris Mannella, Wal Fall (Onua Obasi); Kevin Oliveira, Mour Samb, Francois (Aidan Daniels)

Unused substitutes

David Monsalve, Jamar Dixon, Aidan Daniels

Scoring summary

OTW- 32’ Francois (Haworth)

OTW- 57’ Fall (Francois)

OTW- 82’ Samb (Francois)

Discipline summary

BST- 14’ Fabinho (yellow)

 

2 Comments

  1. Would like to see them get back on track, feels like they haven’t won a game in forever.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Went to my first Steel game last night. Team seemed to play well for the first 20 minutes or so and the first 10 minutes of the second half but then were pretty much just kicking the ball downfield during the rest of the time. They did have a golden opportunity to score just before Ottawa scored their second but they couldn’t capitalize with a man directly in on the keeper.

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