Photo courtesy Penn FC
1. Penn FC continued its strong recent run of form to move into the top eight in the Eastern Conference at the end of Friday night as it rallied from an early deficit to defeat Bethlehem Steel FC 3-2 at FNB Field. Penn is now undefeated in its last six games (4-0-2) and will have the chance to kick on when it plays host to the Richmond Kickers on Monday night to complete their two-game home stand.
2. Lucky Mkosana continued to shine for Penn as he scored his sixth goal in the past four games and also added his first assist of the season on Isaac Osae’s second-half goal. His performance was part of a great attacking display from the hosts, who finished with a 29-8 advantage in shots overall and could have claimed a more comfortable victory if not for a nine-save performance by Bethlehem goalkeeper Jake McGuire.
3. The New York Red Bulls II swept to another emphatic home victory to also move into the Eastern Conference playoff positions with a 6-1 victory against ATL UTD 2 at MSU Soccer Park. Six different players found the net for the Red Bulls II, who now lead the league with 36 goals, 28 of which have come on home turf, eight more than any other side in the USL at home this season.
Penn FC got a goal and assist from Lucky Mkosana to take a 3-2 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC at FNB Field. Penn defender Kyle Venter made a big last-ditch clearance to deny Bethlehem’s Chris Nanco in the 14th minute after the Steel FC forward had rounded PFC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, but Fabian Herbers put the visitors ahead three minutes later with a low shot to the left corner from 22 yards. Penn hit back in the 20th minute, however, as Freddie Opoku just squeezed home the rebound after Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire had parried a shot by Prince Osae from the right side of the penalty area. The hosts then took the lead five minutes later as Lucky Mkosana headed home for his sixth goal in the past four games after McGuire’s tipped save from Venter’s header from a corner came back off the crossbar and added a third 10 minutes into the second half as Isaac Osae drove home a finish into the top-right corner from 15 yards off Mkosana’s assist. Bethlehem pulled a goal back from the penalty spot as Herbers scored with eight minutes to go, and Peiser had to make a big save to keep out a chance moments later for Richie Marquez to keep Penn ahead, but the hosts held on to take all three points and move into the playoff places ahead of Saturday’s action.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Lucky Mkosana, Penn FC – Mkosana had a goal and assist as he continued his recent hot streak with goals in the past four outings for the newly-minted playoff contender.
The New York Red Bulls II got goals from six different players as they swept to a 6-1 victory against ATL UTD 2 at MSU Soccer Park. New York almost took the lead in the 11th minute when Ben Mines hit the crossbar from close range after a corner kick from the right bounced toward the back post, but six minutes later Chris Lema scored his first goal for the club as he fired home a shot after a deflected cross had come back off the left post to the top of the penalty area. New York doubled its lead on the half-hour mark as Amando Moreno seized on a deflected cross to bundle home a close-range finish, and almost added to its lead just before the break as Andrew Tinari also hit the woodwork. Brian White also hit the crossbar early in the second half, but the Red Bulls II notched a third just before the hour-mark as Ethan Kutler rifled home a finish from 20 yards into the left corner. Hassan Ndam and Tinari then found the net in the final 20 minutes for the hosts, and while Atlanta claimed a consolation goal through an own goal by Jordan Scarlett caused by Devon Sandoval with nine minutes to go the Red Bulls II added a sixth in stoppage time as Cristian Casseres Jr. scored from the penalty spot.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Amando Moreno, New York Red Bulls II – Moreno recorded a goal and assist, while notching five key passes and winning 7 of 11 duels in midfield as part of a dominant performance by the hosts.