Photo: Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
Fury FC closed out their three-game road trip with a 3-1 loss against FC Cincinnati in a raucous environment at Nippert Stadium Wednesday evening, but once again showed tremendous fighting spirit and didn’t lack scoring chances leaving us wondering what If a few chances went the other way.
Julian de Guzman can be very proud of his players. Despite being down 3-0 early in the second half, Fury FC refused to give up and quit. For a fourth game in a row, Ottawa out shot its opponent, this time 19-10, but FC Cincinnati was simply more lethal in front of goal and punished Ottawa on any errors in front of goal.
The first 15 minutes of the game fairly even played, with both sides getting into the opposition thirds. Fury FC thought they opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Sito put the ball it in the back of the net, but only after an offside flag was raised on the far side.
FC Cincinnati struck first. After hitting the crossbar in the 29th minute, on a shot from distance from Harrison Delbridge, the Orange and Blue found the back of the net five minutes later when Tyler Polak’s cross found Danni Konig who finished it with volley, ending Cincinnati’s 215-minute scoreless drought.
Ottawa nearly found the equalizer in the 38th minute after a scramble, but Carl Haworth’s shot was stopped by Mitch Hildebrandt and then cleared off the goal line by Delbridge. And Cincinnati would punish Ottawa for that missed chance minutes later when Polak launched a counter-attack finding Konig who sprung McLaughlin on a breakaway, and the home side took a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes.
Fury FC kicked off the second half with the fierce intention of pulling one back and they almost did in the 47th minute, but once again Hildebrandt stood tall. Cincinnati’s goalkeeper saw Shane McEleney’s shot get blocked before stopping Ramon Martin Del Campo on a point blank shot inside the box.
Just before the hour mark, Cincinnati took a 3-0 lead when Sem de Wit netted his first goal for his club after putting away a bouncing ball in the box following a corner. But despite being down 3-0, Ottawa refused to quit.
Fury FC continued pushing and they finally got rewarded in the 63rd minute. Following a corner from Gerardo Bruna, Steevan Dos Santos jumped on a loose ball, turned quickly and fired a perfect shot at the far for his second goal in two games.
Ottawa kept pushing and pushing in the final 15 minutes, but couldn’t capitalize on three glorious chances. First, Tucker Hume, who came in as a substitute in the second half had back to back chances in the 75th minute. His first shot was stopped by the goalkeeper, with Onua Obasi screening him, before firing the rebound over the bar.
In the 82nd minute, Dos Santos fired a rocket volley-shot from 30 yards out, but a desperate touch from Hildebrandt, who got just enough of it to push it off the post saved the day for Cincinnati. Hildebrandt concluded the game with another spectacular save in stoppage time when he tipped Bruna’s 25-yard volley over the bar, securing his team its first win in five games.
Fury FC return to action Sunday afternoon at TD Place facing New York Red Bulls II in a crucial game with significant playoff implications.
Tickets for Sunday's contest and all home games are available online at OttawaFuryFC.com/Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Julian de Guzman:
"I feel for the guys tonight. They completely emptied out their tanks. I thought we were off to a slow start and were a little bit careless on the goals we conceded from a lack of concentration that comes from the fatigue that was accumulated throughout this entire trip. But I’m very proud of the fighting spirit the guys showed tonight and their performance in the second half where we stepped up to our expectations."
"I feel like we deserved at least three points after these three games, minimum, but guys are still strong together and they know that they’ve done a lot of good. We will have to grow from this. Now we’re going back home, that’s the positive thing. The guys will hit the reset button and get ready for New York. We’re looking forward to playing in front of our home fans."
Ottawa Fury FC (3-4-3): Irving; McEleney, Martin Del Campo, Barden; Campbell, Bruna, Manesio (Obasi 64'), Dixon (Hume 46'); Haworth, Dos Santos, Sito (Sanon 86')
FC Cincinnati (3-4-3): Hildebrandt, Delbridge, Hoyt, de Wit (Berry 79'); Polak, Walker, Bone, Bahner; McLaughlin (Dacres 90+4'), Konig, Wiedeman (Greig 64')
35' CIN - Konig (Polak)
42' CIN - McLaughlin (Konig)
57' CIN - de Wit (Polak)
63' OTT- Dos Santos (Martin Del Campo)
24' OTT - Manesio
48' OTT - Dos Santos
50' OTT - Barden
52' CIN - Polak
August 27 vs New York Red Bulls II - 2 p.m. - TD Place