Photo: Jason Roberts/Envision Sports Media
Despite the fatigue level and being down 1-0 after 45 minutes, Fury FC dug in deep and refused to see their winning streak come to an end, earning themselves a come-from-behind 1-1 draw against FC Cincinnati Saturday evening in their last preseason game at IMG Academy.
It was a hot one in Bradenton, Florida Saturday as the players had to deal with tough conditions, with a 4 pm kickoff and the temperature sitting at 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). While Cincinnati was playing its third preseason game and had two days to rest, Ottawa was playing its fourth already and its third in five days.
The game started slowly as both teams were figuring each other out. After a couple of good saves by both goalkeepers – Andrew MacRae and Mitch Hildebrandt – and as we were nearing the halftime whistle, Cincinnati took the lead at the 45th minute when Djiby Fall scored his second of the preseason, after a free kick from Tyler Polak. The Orange and Blue were ahead 1-0 after the half.
Ottawa started the second half with a lot of intensity and caused troubles to Cincinnati’s defence. Their hard work paid off at the 68th minute when Carl Haworth jumped on a loose ball at the edge of the box and curled a perfect shot into the right top corner for his first of the preseason. The game was tied at one.
Callum Irving – who came in at the 60th minute – then made two unbelievable saves in a span of eight minutes. Kadeem Dacres and Austin Berry were absolutely robbed by Irving on what seemed like two sure goals. The Canadian International allowed his teammates to earn a well-deserved draw and extend their preseason unbeaten streak to four games.
Fury FC will enjoy a well-deserved day off Sunday, before flying back to Ottawa early Monday morning and resuming their daily training sessions at RA Centre Tuesday afternoon. Ottawa’s next preseason match is scheduled for Friday, March 3 when they visit Toronto FC II at KIA Field in Toronto in a preview of their home opener against TFC II in April.
Ottawa Fury FC open the USL season April 1 in Saint Louis with their All-Canadian home opener set for April 22 against Toronto FC II. Season tickets for the 2017 USL season are now on-sale at OttawaFuryFC.com, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
What are they saying?
Fury FC Head Coach and GM, Paul Dalglish:
“I don’t want to sound overdramatic but I’ve never been more proud of a group of players. This group of players just surprises me with the commitment and the dedication every day and I couldn’t be more proud of them tonight. To find a way to get something out of this game is absolutely unbelievable and makes me really proud.”
Fury FC goalkeeper, Callum Irving:
“It was fantastic. We preached from day 1 that we want to work hard and we showed that today. We have that work ethic that we’re giving it our all and over the 90 minutes, guys did the job no matter how tired they were. So I’m really proud of everyone.”
Fury FC forward, Carl Haworth:
“We had a few things against us tonight, but we just had to ignore those. We didn’t start the greatest, we were a bit slow but we showed character. We had a good halftime talk and together we got back to our core principals. We showed that everyone is willing to work hard for each other, for themselves, for the team and it shows good character all around.”
Starting XI (Formation 3-4-3):
MacRae (Irving 60'); Obasi (Hume 81'), Martin Del Campo, McEleney (Manesio 42'); Mkungilwa, Rozeboom, Barden, Dixon (Campbell 37/Obasi 90'); Williams, Hume (Sito 46'), Haworth;
45' CIN - Djiby Fall
68' OTT - Carl Haworth
12' CIN - Marco Dominguez
15' CIN - Kenney Walker
26' OTT - Ryan Williams
66' CIN - Mitch Hildebrandt
85' CIN - Aodhan Quinn
47' CIN - Marco Dominguez
Next Preseason Match: March 3 @ Toronto FC II - 3 pm - KIA Field , Toronto, ON