Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography/Ottawa Fury FC
Thanksgiving Sunday marked the final home game of the season for Fury FC at TD Place who served up a treat for the Fury faithful on Fan Appreciation Day. A thorough team effort from start to finish sent Ottawa past FC Cincinnati in convincing fashion by a 4-0 margin on a day where the club set an attendance record.
With the playoffs out of the reach, Fury FC players were playing for the badge and their fans in the home finale, but also to hinder Cincinnati's playoff hopes. Ottawa wasted little time putting a scare into the visitors as Onua Obasi scored his second of the season in the 4th minute rocketing a left-footed volley past Mitch Hildebrandt.
Ottawa continued to attack in the 13th minute Carl Haworth's determined run paid off as the speedy forward eluded the Cincinnati defenders and fired a low hard shot to bury his first of the season. After emphatically tossing the monkey off his back with his first the floodgates opened and Haworth netted his second just seven minutes later. Jamar Dixon sent a perfectly weighted ball over the Cincinnati defenders that Haworth controlled and rifled between the legs of Hildenbrandt to spot Ottawa a three-goal less after just 20 minutes.
Following a strong first-half performance, Ottawa came out with the same vim and vigour in the second half. Just two minutes into the restart, Steevan Dos Santos headed his 10th of the season past Hildebrandt after a fantastic individual effort from Eddie Edward down the ride flank. The goal not only made it 4-0 for Fury FC, but it was Dos Santos' 13th goal of the season in all competition setting a new club record for most goals in a season - passing Tom Heinemann's 2015 record of 12.
With a four-goal lead, there were some chippy moments in the match and after Kyle Venter was fouled from behind by Kyle Greig, his response by pushing Greig to the ground resulted in a dismal as Ottawa finished the last 21 minutes of the match with 10-men.
Ottawa impressively closed out the match with their most dominant performance of the season earning Callum Irving his 7th shutout of the season and the club's first since July 29.
The win, Ottawa's first since August 12, marked the first-career win for Head Coach Julian de Guzman who receive the game ball during the post-game press conference in honour of the milestone.
Fury FC closes out the 2017 USL Saturday in Pittsburgh against the Riverhounds at 7:30 p.m.
GM and Head Coach, Julian de Guzman:
On today's performance ... “Today was finally one of those games where we were able to have a great first half and follow that up with an even better second half. That was the theme of today - having a 90-minute performance. This is something I've always been big on in order for us to have success and the result showed that today."
On what's next ... “We need to get one on the road now. I want to create a culture and atmosphere here at home that we can carry on the road. To get this victory at home creates an opportunity for us now. If we could close the season with another victory and set the direction for the future, it will raise our standards and set the bar higher and finish this season on a positive note."
Forward Carl Haworth:
On breaking the goalless drought ... “I've been creating the chances and getting in the right places, but the bounces weren't going my way so I knew once one went it the rest would come. I'm pleased to finally get on the scoresheet today but more proud of the performance from the entire team today."
On today's win and what could have been this season ... “You go back and you look at the performances throughout the season. It was 80 and 90 percent of the complete performance we wanted, but we were just missing putting everything together in the same game. We were great from the start. The back-four were phenomenal tonight the stopped everything and we countered tremendously well following some of their big stops. It was a culmination of everything coming together and it is positive to see and gives all of us that notion of would could have been, that's for sure."
Ottawa Fury FC (4-4-2): Irving; Obasi, Venter, Del Campo, Edward; Reid (Meilleur-Giguere 71'), Bruna, Dixon, Haworth (Barden 86'); Dos Santos (Campbell 77'), DePuy
FC Cincinnati (4-4-2): Hildebrandt; Delbridge, Hoyte, Berry; Josu, Bone, de Wit, Bahner (Wiedeman 45'), McLaughlin, Fall (Greig 65'), Schindler (Konig 45')
4' OTT - Obasi
13' OTT - Haworth
20' OTT - Haworth (2) (Dixon)
47' OTT - Dos Santos (Edward)
24' OTT - Reid
39' FCC - Fall
70' FCC - Greig
89' OTT - Campbell
90+1' OTT - Obasi
69' OTT - Venter
October 14 @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds @ 7:30 p.m.