Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography/Ottawa Fury FC
Late heroics from Tucker Hume helped Fury FC squeezed out a vital point by drawing 1-1 with the Rochester Rhinos on a scorching afternoon at TD Place. With the Rhinos boasting the second best defensive record in the Eastern Conference it was no surprise that Saturday’s contest turned out to be a tight defensive battle.
The Rhinos took the early lead in the 15th minute as Wal Fall supplied striker Jochen Graf with a sublime feed, who then beat Callum Irving. The visitors tried to defend their lead, but Fury FC turned up the pressure in the closing minutes and Tucker Hume’s third goal of the season in the 89th minute earned Ottawa a big point.
After wow’ing the crowd with an impressive "nutmeg" a few minutes earlier, Rochester Rhinos’ midfielder Wal Fall delivered a technically delightful outside of the foot ball onto a streaking Jochen Graf who beat a Fury defender, then managed to chip an oncoming challenge from keeper Callum Irving before tucking the ball into the back of the cage in the 15th minute.
An unfortunate leg injury to Ryan Williams forced him to make an early departure from the match. Sito would be the man replacing the limping Williams as this 38th minute substitution was already the second one in the match as defender Shane McEleney came off for midfielder Jonathan Barden in the 30th minute.
Despite conceding the first goal of the game, Fury FC were solid in the opening 45 minutes of play, winning many of the aerial battles and interceptions, as well as leading in possession and delivered their most promising offensive chances in the late stages of the first half.
Prior to this afternoon’s match, fans were asked to help tackle hunger in Ottawa and the surrounding areas by bringing a non-perishable food item or cash donation as part of the Purolator Tackle Hunger Program. The Fury faithful did not disappoint as it was announced at the halftime cheque presentation that that an additional 8120 pounds of food was raised. Since Fury FC and the Ottawa REDBLACKS began participating in the program in 2014, the teams and their fans have raised over 180,000 pounds of food for the Ottawa Food Bank.
Play continued to unfold evenly in the second half. Fury FC made their third and final substitution relatively early in the match as the Fury added another attacking option in Tucker Hume, who replaced Aron Mkungilwa.
Fury FC continued to buzz around the Rhinos’ box, providing several dangerous chances to keep Tomas Gomez from adding to his league-leading 8th clean sheet towards the 70th minute of play.
After another flood of offensive pressure in the late stages of a match, Fury FC were finally rewarded with a breakthrough in the 89th minute as Tucker Hume connected his header off the delivery from Carl Haworth, earning a crucial point in this first of four consecutive home games for Fury FC. The goal halted Gomez’s shutout streak at 341 minutes.
Fury FC will enjoy a well-deserved bye week before hosting TFC II on July 29th at TD Place at 7 p.m. in the second match of a 4-game home stand.
Tickets for all Fury FC home matches are available at OttawaFuryFC.com, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Paul Dalglish:
“It was coming, I think everyone in the stadium could see it was coming. We kept missing chances. That header could be the catalyst we needed, against a top team like Rochester who doesn't concede a lot of goals.”
“When you see what those guys put in, in the last ten minutes, the will that we had to win, to score, and even the will that Eddie [Edward] had in the last minute to stop a counterattack… that’s awesome.”
“Yes we want to be better, yes we want to win our home games, but it's important we don’t lose them either.”
Fury FC forward, Tucker Hume:
"As a sub, you hope to come on as soon as possible. We needed a change, and we really needed a goal badly because we really needed a result, so I was very happy to be able to score.”
“With long throws, you’re looking for the bigger guys in the box. We had plenty of chances at the end of the game and I tried to get my head on one of them."
"We want to try and get as many points as possible out of this home stand. I wish we could’ve come out of this with a win to start this home stand but to get a point against this Rochester team, to which we lost over there, to fight at the end… it's definitely a good sign going into an off-week and then three more home games."
Ottawa Fury FC (3-5-2): Irving; Venter, Del Campo, McEleney (Barden 30'); Mkungilwa (Hume 52'), Williams (Sito 38'), Bruna, Rozeboom, Edward; Haworth, Dos Santos
Rochester Rhinos (4-1-4-1): Gomez; Kamdem, Farrell, Felix, Dover; Fall; James, Forbes, Garzi (Beresford 74'), Tergou (Lee 82'); Graf (Brown 89')
15' ROC - Graf
89' OTT - Hume (Haworth)
33' OTT - Barden
39' ROC - Garzi
72' OTT - Bruna
July 29 vs Toronto FC II - 7 p.m. - TD Place
Next Home Match:
July 29 vs Toronto FC II - 7 p.m. - TD Place