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MATCH RECAP: OTTAWA FURY FC v HALIFAX WANDERERS FC

By Ottawa Fury FC, 07/24/19, 11:15PM EDT

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Fury FC keeps Canadian Championship dream alive

Ottawa Fury FC, being the only team to win their first-leg match 3-2 in the Canadian Championship’s Qualifying Round Three, entered the return leg ready to welcome HFX Wanderers FC on Wednesday night on its home turf and in front of its fans. With a comeback from a two-goal deficit and goals from Onua Obasi and Christiano François, Fury FC punched its ticket for the semi-finals against Toronto FC.

Halifax took the home side by surprise and took a two-goal lead in the first half, seeing Tomasz Skublak (30th) and Perea (43rd) finding the back of the net. But Fury FC got momentum back just before the halftime whistle on another great set play kick curled in towards net by Haworth and flicked in by Obasi, bringing Ottawa back within one. Fury FC would close out the gap in the 66th minute when Haworth setup his right-wing partner, Christiano François, who dribble his way in the box and gave his side a crucial draw. By virtue of its 3-2 win in Halifax and an aggregate score of 5-4 in favour of Ottawa, Fury FC will continue on competing for a shot at a Voyageurs Cup.

STORYLINES

  • Despite a slow start, Fury FC returned to its preferred style of play and key to success when it took control of possession and passing back.
    • On the night, Ottawa finished with 63% of the ball possession, maintaining a passing accuracy of 80% throughout its 534 passes.
  • Fury FC captain was one of the many bright performers on Wednesday, creating 4 chances for his side, touching the ball over 100 times in his 80 minutes of play, and collecting 2 assists.
  • Kevin Oliveira, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé and Christiano François all looked dangerous, particularly in the second half, with Oliveira and François each taking 3 shots. All 3 players were the source of 2 chances each.
  • Ottawa will face reigning champion Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship semi-finals starting on August 7 at TD Place. The two-leg series will determine who moves on to the final.

 POST-GAME COMMENTS

Head Coach Nikola Popovic

“In the first half, we were unrecognizable. I think it could be the worst first half we played this year. And we didn’t play our game. In the second half, we corrected this. We were able to put the ball on the ground, play possession football, and I think from there we were the only team on the field. We had chances and we were the better team.”

“Like a famous coach in Portugal said: Allow me to dream. I think that what we have this year, with this team, it’s a group of very good quality, and I think this group of players allow us to dream. We will play a very good team, with a lot of talented players, but with the group we have this year, it is very possible that we could reach the final.”

Defender Carl Haworth

“Anything can happen in a competition like this. We’ve been in the situation Halifax found themselves in where they are the underdogs coming into it, it’s really easy to get up for a game like that. You have the extra motivation, something to prove. You can see, over the two legs, they made it very difficult for us. And we were under pressure quite a few moments. But then again, if you look at the full two legs, the amount of chances we created, the fact that it was a 5-4 aggregate, I think it flatters them a little bit. But with the number of chances we created tonight, we could’ve buried them. Now, we’ve advanced, and we just have to focus on the next game, and prepare for that like we do for any other match.”

MATCH REPORT

Starting XI

Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Irving; Obasi, Meilleur-Giguère, Attakora (46’ Barnathan), Haworth © (80’ Dixon); de Freitas (46’ Fall), Ward, Mannella; Oliveira, Gagnon-Laparé, François

HFX Wanderers (4-2-3-1): Williams ©; De Carolis, Arnone, Schaale, Bona; Rampersad, N’Sa; Sukunda, Skublak, Kourouma; Perea

Scoring Summary

30’ – HFX Skublak (Schaale)
43’ – HFX Perea
45+1’ – HFX Obasi (Haworth)
66’ – François (Haworth) 

Caution Summary

74’ – OTT Oliveira
74’ – HFX Schaale
80’ – OTT Haworth
86’ – HFX Skublak
90+4’ – OTT Gagnon-Laparé

Attendance

4,443