HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Paulo Junior’s right-footed strike in the 57th minute gave Penn FC (9-10-8) its most important win to date as Rush Soccer’s First Team earned a 1-0 victory against fifth place Indy Eleven (12-8-9) Wednesday night.
After a tepid first half that lacked scoring chances from both sides, Penn FC found the go-ahead goal early in the second half.
Defender Harri Hawkins received the ball in the Indy half of the midfield. He crossed the ball near the left wing to the Junior at the top of the box. The Brazilian forward took a touch around a defender to the right side of the box before turning the ball and powering his attempt into the far post. Junior’s third goal in four matches gave the home side the 1-0 lead.
The goal ignited a spell of momentum for the Blue and White in an effort to cement the three points. Junior connected well with substitute Lucky Mkosana to create chances for Penn FC to double its lead.
In his first match back from international duty with Zimbabwe, Mkosana registered the home team’s closest effort for the second goal in the 80th minute. Mkosana found space in the box and directed a pass from Junior towards the net, forcing a save.
Indy tried to ramp up its offense in search of an equalizer. However, Penn FC’s aggressive play in the midfield prevented Indy from getting the ball to its forwards. The Blue and White dominated possession deep into the half and prevented any real opportunities for Indy to steal a point late.
With the win, Penn FC moved up to 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings and moved level with 10th place North Carolina FC with 35 points on the season.
Penn FC returns to action Sunday, Sept. 16 to take on North Carolina FC in a very important Eastern Conference match at FNB Field. Only separated by goal differential, both teams will be in need of all three points this weekend as they both sit only four points behind eighth place Nashville SC.
Kickoff on Sunday is set for 6 p.m. Tickets for the match on Sunday and the rest of The Homestretch matches are available at pennfc.com/tickets.