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Gameday Report: August 16, Week 23

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/16/18, 9:59PM EDT

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Steel FC strikes late to take victory against Toronto FC II


Photo courtesy Matt Wittmeyer / Rochester Rhinos

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. Bethlehem Steel FC found a pair of late breakthroughs to take a 2-0 victory against Toronto FC II on Thursday night in the final game of the season to be played at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. rebounding in positive fashion to its loss this past Sunday evening to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. With four victories in its last five games overall, Bethlehem is now in fifth position in the Eastern Conference standings as it continued to keep pressure on the teams chasing it with games in hand in the hunt for the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs.

2. Steel FC had to be persistent as Toronto goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell kept things scoreless for the first three-quarters of the contests, but the nominal visitors eventually found the goals they needed as Michee Ngalina and Aidan Apodaca broke through the defensive lines to provide the goals to earn all three points. Bethlehem has now scored 13 goals over its last five games as it approaches a pair of key games against Ottawa Fury FC and Nashville SC to close out the month.

3. Toronto picked up its second win of the season on Sunday evening, but with players who were influential in that contest like Liam Fraser and Jay Hamilton absent from the squad and influential midfielder Luca Uccello a late scratch from the starting lineup the chances the side created went astray. With two tough contests up next on the road at Indy Eleven and Louisville City FC, the side will need to put this loss behind it quickly.

GAME REPORT

TORONTO FC II (0), BETHLEHEM STEEL FC (2)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Bethlehem Steel FC struck twice in the final 20 minutes to claim a 2-0 victory against Toronto FC II at Marina Auto Stadium on Thursday night, the club’s fourth victory in the past five contests. Steel FC almost struck in the fifth minute as James Chambers’ shot from distance was saved by TFC II goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, but Toronto went closest to opening the scoring in the first half as Lars Eckenrode’s overhead finish from a corner went off the top of the crossbar and behind. Steel FC carried more of the game in the second half and took the lead in the 70th minute when Michee Ngalina got in behind the Toronto defense to finish a breakaway chance. Bethlehem then wrapped up all three points with eight minutes to go as second-half substitute Aidan Apodaca put home a finish from Brenden Aaronson’s through-ball to seal the victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Michee Ngalina, Bethlehem Steel FC
– The Congolese forward threatened in the first half and finally provided the breakthrough for Bethlehem with 20 minutes to go to help earn a valuable road victory.

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