The Harrisburg City Islanders run in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition came to a halt after a match against the Philadelphia Union last night at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. Again, the Islanders faced off against their in-state MLS foe in round four of the national competition.
The game wrapped up with a final score of 3-1, with Jonny Mendoza scoring the lone goal for the Islanders in the 37th minute of action. After two back-to-back goals by Bethlehem Steel loanee Derrick Jones and C.J. Sapong within the first 25 minutes, the opportunity arose for Mendoza off of a smooth cross from Paul Wilson, a second year Islander, who was a part of the 2016 Union-Harrisburg matchup.
The goal closed the scoring gap, giving Harrisburg a new energy to start the second half. In the 47th minute, though, Marcus Epps for Philadelphia raised the ante with one more shot that put the Union up by two. Neither side found another goal after that.
“I thought we created enough chances to at least get one back, it unfortunately did not go in, but I think we needed to be better early in the game,” stated Head Coach Bill Becher. “We gave them too much room to play in the beginning and they got up two goals. I give us credit for fighting back and getting one back, but not quite enough.”
The Islanders return to USL play this Saturday, June 17 and will see some familiar faces in Jones and Epps on Tuesday, June 20 when they take on the Bethlehem Steel one last time this season. Both sides have a win apiece in the season’s series and look to take this last one.
“Play and perform” is what Mendoza says will drive them to victory in these next matches. “Play and perform, the way we did in the second half [against the Union] and the result will come.”