ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Ottawa Fury FC's unbeaten streak was halted at 10 games on Saturday night, but it wasn't for a lack of fight as the visitors gave the Tampa Bay Rowdies all they could handle in an eventual 2-1 Ottawa defeat.
After Ottawa opened the scoring, Fury and the Rowdies battled for every inch on the pitch, with the teams going toe-to-toe in a game that was tied at one until captain Sebastian Guenzatti scored in second-half stoppage time to secure the three points for Tampa Bay.
After a diving stop by Fury goalkeeper Callum Irving to keep the score even early on, Fury was first to find the back of the net in the 22nd minute as Christiano Francois pounced on a loose ball and slipped his shot inside the far post to give the visitors the lead. The Rowdies would pull even in the 36th minute as Juan Tejada found himself in the right spot to convert the scoring chance.
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"We came in to the game very well and dominated the first half. Then in the second half we were able to maintain the draw until the last seconds of the game. Unfortunately we conceded a goal in the last seconds ... But we have to raise our heads, we played well, the team was always faithful to what we believe and our culture. This is football. We are in a good position and we're playing well and we have to be proud. Of course we wanted to win but on the other side was a very strong team who is a favourite to win the league."
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Irving; Gagnon-Laparé, Barnathan, Meilleur-Giguère, Haworth © (73' Dixon); Fall, Ward, Mannella (63’ de Freitas); Oliveira (73' Obasi), Samb, François
Tampa Bay Rowdies (3-4-1-2): McCarthy; Richards, Diakite, Morad; Fernandes (67' Johnson), Oduro, Ekra, Najem (85' Poku); Steinberger (67' Mkosana); Tejada, Guenzatti ©
22' – OTT Francois
36' – TB Tejada
90'+2 – TB Guenzatti
28’ – TB Oduro
43' – TB Guenzatti
53' – OTT Oliveira
Next match: Friday, July 5 @ New York Red Bulls II
Next home match: Sunday, July 14 v Louisville City FC (Dog Day Afternoon)