Photo courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC and FC Cincinnati played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium after both sides missed chances to take all three points from the contest. Bethlehem took the lead in the 15th minute as Cory Burke applied a perfect redirection to a low shot from distance by Anthony Fontana that lifted the ball into the top-left corner. Cincinnati almost leveled seven minutes later as Nazmi Albadawi lifted his volleyed finish over the crossbar after Steel FC goalkeeper John McCarthy had palmed a cross away from goal. Santi Moar went close to adding to Steel FC’s lead as a slightly deflected shot was just clawed wide by FCC goalkeeper Evan Newton, while moments later Anthony Fontana rang a shot off the left post for the hosts. Burke almost added his second nine minutes into the second half when a misplay by FCC midfielder Richie Ryan let the Jamaican in, but his finish squeezed wide of the left post. Cincinnati began to get on top in the final half-hour with 18 minutes to go the visitors leveled as Albadawi got onto a good piece of control by Emery Welshman in the penalty area to set up a low shot from the right side of the penalty area. Albadawi had a golden chance to put his side ahead in the 81st minute when Brandon Aubrey slipped to allow Albadawi to run in on goal alone, but his attempted chip fell tamely into McCarthy’s hands, but shortly after FCC’s Corben Bone fired just wide late in stoppage time from 20 yards the final whistle blew to leave both teams with a point.
15’ – BST – Cory Burke (Anthony Fontana)
72’ – CIN – Nazmi Albadawi (Emery Welshman)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Ultimately a draw seemed the fairest result in a game that saw both teams squander opportunities to take more from it, and Bethlehem will feel enthused by the greater levels of creativity it showed to put itself in a position to win before Cincinnati came on strongly in the second half. After disappointing results the last time out for both teams, though, the lack of finishing in the contest – as exemplified by breakaway misses by Cory Burke for Steel FC and Nazmi Albadawi for FCC – was really the story of the afternoon in a game that saw both sides register only three shots on goal.
2. After Cory Burke’s opening goal for Steel FC, it felt as though the hosts would come to regret the missed opportunities that followed to build their lead against one of the more creative attacking sides in the USL, and when Nazmi Albadawi’s equalizer arrived in the 72nd minute it proved to be the case. From a moment of hesitation from Santi Moar, to a hit post by Anthony Fontana to Burke’s missed breakaway after a big giveaway in the Cincinnati half, Steel FC had more than enough chances to give itself a cushion offensively and paid for its misses in the end.
3. Cincinnati created chances of its own, but the visitors might be slightly underwhelmed by a performance that had good spells, but also allowed Bethlehem to carry plenty of the play. When Cincinnati raised its pace and connected in the attacking third it looked more than capable of finding the net, but there were also spells where the visitors looked slightly off the pace, which opened chances for the hosts. With a visit from a Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC side that has yet to concede a goal up next, FCC will be hoping for a little more quality in the attacking third next time around.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Emery Welshman, FC Cincinnati – Welshman led the line well for Cincinnati, setting up the equalizing goal and finishing with three key passes in addition to his two shots on goal that both tested the goalkeeper.
Bethlehem Steel FC at Louisville City FC – April 28, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field
FC Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – April 21, 7 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium