Indy Eleven fall, 1-2, at home against Pennsylvania based Bethlehem Steel FC in first even USL contest between the two teams. “Indiana's Team's” home record stands at 2W-3L-0D, while they remain undefeated on the road, 2W-0L-2D.
The night opened with early chances for the “Boys in Blue”. Indy forward Justin Braun took his first chance at goal in the 9th minute, after a forward pass from midfielder Nathan Lewis split three Steel FC defenders into the top of the visitor's box. Braun connected with the pass with a shot on-target, but Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire deflected the ball back into the box with a diving save. Braun and Lewis both attempted to convert on the loose ball, but Bethlehem defender Matt Mahoney was able to clear while down on the ground.
Braun came close again just four minutes later off a free kick from Indy defender Kevin Venegas. The ball was served in from the right edge of the box, where Braun sent the headed attempt rebounding off the crossbar. Indy closed the first half with a final test for Bethlehem's keeper in the 41st minute, when forward Soony Saad beat Steel's defense for a shot at goal nearly 20 yards out. Unfortunately, the shot was stopped by McGuire.
Bethlehem made their first moves in the 14th minute of play. Steel FC midfielder Derrick Jones shot deep inside Indy's 18 yard box after midfielder Santi Moar laid a pass off from the left. Ultimately, Jone's shot went wide, leaving the score board blank. Steel forced Indy's goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams to a save after a free kick from midfielder Fabian Herbers, close to 30 yards out, nearly slotted into the upper right corner of the goal.
Indy opened the second half with an attempt just six minutes in. Braun laid a short pass off to Saad as he charged through the top of Steel's box. The Lebanese International hoped to convert from close range, but McGuire did well to deflect and collect. Saad's second header six minutes later from a corner kick came close, but ended up over the crossbar.
Bethlehem opened the evening's scoring account in the 60th minute. Herbers sent a cross from the edge of Indy's 18-yard box to the center where Moar settled for a grounded shot that found the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Indy midfielder Zach Steinberger opened his 2018 account after Saad fed a pass that resulted in a volley over McGuire only seven yards out from the goal. The level ground didn't last long as Steel defender Prosper Chiluya found the game-winning goal with a strike from 30 yard out in the 74th minute. Fon Williams dove to the left, getting his glove on the strike, but it wasn't enough to keep it out.
Despite the loss, Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie looks to focus on the road ahead.
“I think obviously going into tonight’s game we were just off the top with a game in hand,” Rennie said. “We're still in a good position in the league, but we do need to recuperate. We do need to get key players back in and available and make sure we push on and get a consistent run of results.”
The “Boys in Blue” will return to action on the road next Sunday, May 27th, at 1:00 p.m. against New York Red Bulls II before returning home on Wednesday, May 30th, at 7:00 p.m. against Charleston Battery. Fans can get tickets to the next home match starting at just $15 by visiting IndyElevenTickets.com or by calling (317)685-1100.
USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 1:2 Bethlehem Steel FC
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
BST – Santi Moar (Fabian Herbers) – 60'
IND – Zach Steinberger (Soony Saad) – 70'
BST – Prosper Chiluya – 74'
BST – Brandon Aubrey 16'
IND – Carlyle Mitchell 41'
BST – Derrick Jones 83'
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2, L-->R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Ayoze, Carlyle Mitchell (Brad Rusin 45'), Karl Ouimette, Kevin Venegas; Brad Ring (C), Soony Saad, Zach Steinberger, Natan Lewis (Ben Speas 72'); Justin Braun, Jack McInerney
Indy Eleven bench: Jordan Farr (GK); Brad Rusin; Nico Matern, Juan Guerra, Seth Moses; Ben Speas, Amass Amankona
Bethlehem Steel FC lineup (4-2-3-1, L-->R): Jake McGuire (GK); Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; Derrik Jones, Adam Najem, Santi Moar (Mike Catalano 90+1'), Michee Ngalina (Skundrich 69'), Fabian Herbers; Aidan Apodaca (Chris Nanco 74')
Bethlehem Steel FC bench: Kris Shakes (GK); AJ Paterson; Chris Nanco, Drew Skundrich, Mike Catalano, Tonny Temple