Photo courtesy Harrisburg City Islanders
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Harrisburg City Islanders put on a show at FNB Field on Saturday, recording a 3-2 win against in-state rival Bethlehem Steel FC with a late winner from Cardel Benbow. The home side took an early 2-0 lead with Aaron Wheeler and Paul Wilson scoring first-half goals for the City Islanders, who looked to build on their impressive win against the New York Red Bulls II on April 5. However, Steel FC battled back. Santiago Moar scored his first goal of season in the 38th minute, and Chris Nanco was an impact substitute for Steel FC, scoring a game-tying goal in the 64th minute of play. Entering the match for Manolo Sanchez in the 84th minute, Benbow netted the game-winner just before the final whistle. Making his way inside the penalty area, the attacker danced by two Steel FC players before firing a low right-footed effort by an outstretched Jake McGuire. With the win, the City Islanders improve to 2-1-0, while Steel FC moves to 1-2-0 this season.
9’ – HAR – Aaron Wheeler (Lee Nishanian)
21’ – HAR – Paul Wilson (James Thomas)
38’ – BST – Santiago Moar
64’ – BST – Chris Nanco
90’ – HAR – Cardel Benbow
Three Things That Matter:
1. The City Islanders have earned at least one point in all four competitive meetings against their in-state rival. Including Saturday’s 3-2 result, Harrisburg has won three of the four contests, posting a 3-0-1 overall record against Steel FC since 2015. The Pennsylvania-based clubs play two more times this season – May 28 and June 20.
2. After being named to the USL Team of the Week on Tuesday, Jamie Thomas continued to impress on Saturday. The fullback was strong on the defensive end, making four tackles during the match, but he stood out attacking down the right wing. After creating a chance early into the game, Thomas beat a man on the dribble before cutting into the box and providing a perfect ball to the feet of Paul Wilson, who scored the City Islanders’ second goal. Thomas completed 73.1 percent of his passes and created three chances in 90 minutes of action.
3. Chris Nanco played a major role in helping Steel FC climb back into the match. The attacker came on for Adam Najem in the 59th minute of play, and he had an immediate impact on the game. Nanco used his speed to fly by Harrisburg and slot in the second goal of the game for Steel FC in the 64th minute and continued to cause problems for the home side until the final whistle.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Paul Wilson, Harrisburg City Islanders – The midfielder scored the second goal of the game for Harrisburg and completed 81.5 percent of his passes throughout the match.
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Orlando City B – April 18, 6:30 p.m. ET, FNB Field
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Orlando City B – April 23, 4 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium