Morad strikes twice in LouCity's emphatic 4-0 playoff victory over Bethlehem Steel
Louisville City opened their third USL Cup Playoff appearance with a 4-0 win over the Bethlehem Steel Friday night at Slugger Field. Tarek Morad's first-half brace sealed the game for LouCity.
"Obviously, winning four-nil is very pleasing. I think we could play better. I really do," commented coach James O'Connor on his team's performance. "The pleasing thing for me is that we won 4-0 and the guys sat there (in the locker room after the match) and go, 'yeah, we need to be a little bit better.' It's a fantastic sign, it really is."
After a recent drought of scoring in early minutes, LouCity broke the habit, scoring first in the 14th minute. Paco Craig sent a header Tarek Morad's way, and after a bounce, Morad was able to sail it past Bethlehem's keeper to give LouCity the lead.
Morad decided that one goal in the first half wasn't enough, so when a shot by Sean Totsch sent the goalie out of the box, Morad found the rebound to send it over the line to not only get a brace in the game, but put LouCity up 2-0, 31 minutes in. This was his third goal in two games.
Louisville's strong defense was on display once again in the first half, with the back line giving LouCity the 12-2 shot advantage in first half. Louisville was also able to keep the ball for a majority of the half, 55.5% to 44.5%.
After a few close chances in the opening minutes of the second half, Luke Spencer was the first to get the result. Spencer was able to draw the keeper out of the box and slip the pass from Oscar Jimenez over the line to increase the LouCity lead to three in the 70th minute.
Not 10 minutes later, Luke Spencer sailed a pass into the box to let Brian Ownby connect for the header on the right side and score the final goal of the night for LouCity. The four goals scored are the most scored by LouCity in a playoff game.
Louisville will face the winner of Rochester vs. Charlotte match to be played Saturday, in the USL Eastern Conference semi-finals at Slugger Field on October 28th at 7:30 p.m.
Match: Louisville City FC vs Bethlehem Steel FC
Date: October 20, 2017
Venue: Louisville Slugger Field | Louisville, KY
Kickoff: 7:35 pm
Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy
Man of the Match: Tarek Morad
Louisville City FC (2,2,4)
Bethlehem Steel FC (0,0,0)
14' – Tarek Morad tallies first goal of the game on a headed assist from Paco Craig (assist to Paco Craig)
31' – Tarek Morad adds another after a shot deflects off the cross bar and puts it in the back of the net
70' – Luke Spencer adds on to the lead after an assist from Oscar Jimenez lead Spencer past Bethlehem defenders and eventually a goal
79' – Brian Ownby slips the final goal of the night past the Bethlehem goalkeeper on an assist from Luke Spencer
Louisville City starting lineup: 1 Greg Ranjitsingh, 24 Kyle Smith, 4 Sean Totsch, 18 Paco Craig, 6 Tarek Morad, 19 Oscar Jimenez, 36 Paolo DelPiccolo, 80 Devon Williams, 12 Luke Spencer (14 Ilija Ilic – 86'), 22 George Davis IV (23 Richard Ballard – 73'), 7 Mark-Anthony Kaye (10 Brian Ownby – 55')
Louisville City subs: 28 Tim Dobrowolski, 15 Sean Reynolds, 8 Guy Abend, 11 Niall McCabe
Head coach: James O'Connor
Bethlehem Steel starting lineup: 29 Jake McGuire, 19 Aaron Jones, 42 Hugh Roberts, 26 Auston Trusty, 47 Matt Real, 45 James Chambers, 21 Derrick Jones, 24 Adam Najem (63 Brenden Aaronson – 79'), 37 Chris Nanco (49 Yosef Samuel – 66'), 41 Cory Burke (40 Josh Heard – 73'), 36 Seku Conneh
Bethlehem Steel subs: 64 Tomas Romero, 44 Charlie Reymann, 48 Matt Mahoney, 68 Michael Pellegrino
Head coach: Brendan Burke
57' – Matt Real, yellow
64' – Cory Burke, yellow
75' – Seku Conneh, yellow
88' – Derrick Jones, yellow
Louisville City FC/Bethlehem Steel FC
Shots on target: 11/1
Possession (%): 51.3/48.7
Referee: MARCOS DEOLIVEIRA
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Swartzel
4th official: Aaron Hernandez