Steel fall to Birmingham 3-2
Bethlehem Steel FC scored two goals while down a man against Birmingham Legion FC who hadn’t given up a goal since June 29, but still fell 3-2. It was a very physical Sunday night at Talen Energy Stadium that resulted in 10 total cards and four players sent off early.
The match favored the Steel early on, with the speed of Philadelphia Union forwards Michee Ngalina and Sergio Santos causing issues for the Legion’s backline in the first 15 minutes. After a few chances that went unfinished from the Steel, Birmingham struck through Prosper Kasim in the 20th minute. The match saw its first red-card ejections handed out in the 42nd minute, with Santos and the Legion’s Zachary Herivaux sent to their locker rooms early.
The Boys in Blue remained down a goal in the second half when Faris entered in the 59th minute. The Legion were able to grab a second shortly after with a 67th minute goal, but Michee Ngalina had the answer in the 69th. The Congolese forward was the recipient of a good bounce after some great groundwork from Faris on the endline in the Birmingham box. The ball bounced around a bit between the players and then Ngalina buried it in the top netting.
The Steel got a chance to level the match as Faris was brought down off the ball and earned a penalty kick for his side. Olivier Mbaizo stepped up and buried the ball in the left corner to level the match and notch his first all-time goal for the Steel.
The match was far from over as Birmingham was able to regain the lead off of a corner kick in the 76th minute. In the immediate aftermath of the visitors’ third goal Faris was shown a red card and sent off, putting the Steel down to nine men. The Legion were also sent down to nine men, losing Razak Cromwell as the physical match progressed. The Steel pushed men forward for the final 10 minutes and gave it their all, but just couldn’t find that equalizing goal. The final would end 3-2 in favor of the visitors in a match filled with action.
Bethlehem Steel FC takes on Swope Park Rangers next Sunday, September 1 at Talen Energy Stadium. 6 p.mm. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa. | ESPN+).