Fabinho converted a penalty, Kacper Pryzbylko returned from injury with a brace and Zach Zandi had himself a night in Steel FC’s 3-1 win over Charleston Battery on Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
Wearing the captain’s armband in his first appearance for Steel, Fabinho stepped up to the spot to convert a penalty kick in the 67th minute to make it 2-0 to the Steel. Zandi drew the penalty after taking a marvelous touch to play himself into the box, where he was taken down.
Przybylko opened the scoring off an assist from Zandi just before halftime. The play was set up by a strong run into the box from right back Issay Rayyan, whose cross found its way to Zandi in front of the goal after a touch from Faris. Zandi passed up a backheel opportunity and instead dished it back to Przybylko for the finish. The goal was the second for the first team loanee back from a broken toe after he scored the Steel’s first goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Birmingham Legion to start the season.
Przybylko scored again just seconds after Charleston had pulled back to with a goal when Michee Ngalina played a ball to him all alone behind the defense and Kacper did the rest to restore the two-goal lead with 20 minutes to go in the match.
The 3-1 win was the first for the Steel at Talen Energy Stadium and the first against Charleston Battery, which came in unbeaten through their first three games to start the season. The Steel moved up to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points through six matches and a 3-2-1 W-L-D record.
“We were a little soft in the last ten minutes but the energy, the commitment to live in transition and accomplish the things that we wanted to throughout the week really came through and I have to credit the first team guys that came down there,” head coach Brendan Burke said after the match.
Coronel was called upon to make a couple saves and helped organize a defense that included Ben Ofeimu and academy player Cole Turner pairing with Jamaican international Jamoi Topey still out with an injury.
Ngalina lined up in the midfield with Zandi, Chavany Willis and captain James Chambers after playing as one of the two forwards last week. Faris and Kacper paired up top in the game and were replaced in the latter stages of the match by Saed Díaz (88th minute for Faris) and recent signing Shanyder Borgelin (71st minute for Kacper).
“Of course it’s always a nice feeling, especially after the injury,” Przybylko said of his two goals in his first game at Talen Energy Stadium. “This is my job and it’s how I can help the team score goals. Like for my first attempt in the stadium it was such a big deal for me.”