Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography/Ottawa Fury FC
While Ottawa Fury FC halted the Charlotte Independence 12-game unbeaten run Saturday night at TD Place with a 3-1 win, the real story was the Fury’s performance over the course of 90 minutes. Facing the Eastern Conference leading Independence who hadn’t tasted defeat in over two months, Ottawa would need to be at their best to steal points from the USL’s hottest team ... and they were.
Hometown guy Eddie Edward opened the scoring and 18-year-old Adonijah Reid finished the scoring. But it was the man who scored the second goal, and eventual match-winner, Gerardo Bruna who wowed the fans setting up the opening goal and scoring his first-career goal with the club on a thrilling night at TD Place.
Fury FC came out hungry looking to snap the 12-game unbeaten run of the Charlotte Independence. Fury FC rookie Azake Luboyera looked to add to his impressive USL start as he saw a shooting lane and sent a rocket just over the goal.
Midway through the first half Carl Haworth created a great opportunity and powered a shot on target, but was denied by the diving Cody Mizell in the Charlotte goal keeping the Fury striker off the score sheet.
Montreal Impact loanee Nick DePuy also looked sharp in his second appearance with Fury FC this season producing threatening opportunities all night including a couple efforts on goal.
Finally, the consistent pressure of Fury FC paid off. After Andrae Campbell was fouled outside of the box following a speedy Ottawa counterattack, the home side made good on the set piece. Gerardo Bruna delivered the free kick into the back post and found the head of Eddie Edward who headed Fury FC into the lead in the 37th minute.
The first half closed with Ottawa outshooting the league-leading Independence by an 8-3 margin and a 1-0 lead.
Following a static start to the second half, Ottawa’s pressured would again pay off. Gerardo Bruna forced a turnover inside the Charlotte penalty area and made no mistake with the opportunity that earned bury the low shot at the back post sending Fury FC ahead 2-0 after 52 minutes.
Charlotte, desperate to keep their streak alive, finally found a way to crack Ottawa’s back line in the 75th minute. Substitute Davies Spies snuck in behind the back line and beat Callum Irving at the back post.
Ottawa pressed on with wave-after-wave of counter attack opportunities which finally paid off in the 87th minute. Carl Haworth found a wide open Adonijah Reid who netted his first professional goal to restore Ottawa’s two-goal lead at 3-1.
The win will provide an added source of confidence for Fury FC heading into a tough stretch of games with three straight coming on the road starting Wednesday night in Orlando. Ottawa will return home on August 27 to take on New York Red Bulls II.
Tickets for Saturday’s contest and all home games are available online at OttawaFuryFC.com/Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Paul Dalglish:
“We are really pleased, but it is a long season. It was important to get that win, we wanted to get that win, and I think we earned every one of those three points today.”
We are really pleased, they are a good team, but that's this league, everybody beats everybody. It comes down to taking your chances and key moments. We have to keep going, one game at the time and keep putting points on the board and achieve our goal at the end of the season which is playoff football.
Fury FC midfielder, Gerardo Bruna:
“I am really happy with the performance of the team, the coach’s plan was really good, everything went according to plan. Obviously, I am happy for my goal but it is more important that we got the three points.”
Fury FC defender, Eddie Edward:
“I really have a soft spot for this city, so to be able to help the club win, and to be able to score in front of my family and home fans is everything. I think you saw that when my emotion came out after scoring.”
Fury FC forward, Adonijah Reid:
“I think the goal was good, tomorrow is my birthday so I tried to do something for this team and help get the three points.”
Ottawa Fury FC (3-4-2-1): Irving; Edward, Del Campo, Venter (Dixon 45'); Campbell, Bruna (Manesio 89'), Rozeboom, Barden, Luboyera (Reid 66'), Haworth; DePuy
Charlotte Independence(4-2-3-1): Mizell; Yearwood, Waechter, Duckett, Johnson; Estrada (Siaj 54'), Ross (Spies 67'); Herrera, Hilton, Ekra; Martinez
37' OTT - Edward (Bruna)
52' OTT - Bruna
75' CLT - Spies (Martinez)
87' OTT - Reid (Haworth)
5' OTT - Rozeboom
36' CLT - Johnson
61' CLT - Siaj
77' CLT - Duckett
August 16 @ Orlando City B - 7 p.m. - Orlando City Stadium
Next Home Match:
August 27 vs New York Red Bulls II - 2 p.m. - TD Place