An encouraging first-half from Ottawa Fury FC couldn’t be replicated in the second 45, as FC Cincinnati came away with a 3-0 win at TD Place. Ottawa played a tactical, disciplined game in the first-half, but Cincinnati scored three goals in quick succession ten minutes in to the second frame to take all three points.
Fury FC took it to their opponents early and had the first chance of the match. Eddie Edward created a turnover in the midfield, and Adonijah Reid dribbled forward. Reid showed good vision to lay the ball off to Gerardo Bruna, but his venomous shot was blocked by a sliding defender.
In the 22nd minute, FC Cincinnati caught Ottawa on the counter attack. Danni Konig sprinted into the box, but was halted by a last-ditch slide by Chris Mannella. Moments later, an enticing ball was sent into the area and headed clear by Colin Falvey. Falvey has played every minute of every game for the Fury and is living up to his billing as a top-notch defender.
The best chance of the first 45 came for Ottawa just before the half-time whistle. Reid chipped the ball over the defence and connected with Kevin Oliveira, who had timed his run perfectly. Oliveira cut the ball back to Carl Haworth, but his off-balance shot from in close was cleared off the line.
Both Fury FC and FC Cincinnati are clubs that play a possession-based style and that was evident in the scoreless first-half. The teams combined for seven shot attempts, and the possession percentage was even at half-time.
The first ten minutes of the second-half belonged to Fury netminder Maxime Crépeau. The goalkeeper made back-to-back sliding saves on dangerous Cincinnati opportunities. He then put the team on his back, sprawling to make a series of incredible stops on a scramble inside the box, getting a boot to his face for his efforts.
Cincinnati then broke the deadlock in the 68th minute. Kenney Walker caught everyone by surprise when he scored a 50-yard volley that fooled Crépeau. The visitors then followed up seconds later, with Corben Bone heading in a cross.
Ottawa attempted to claw back into the game by bringing on offensive weapons Steevan Dos Santos and Sito Seoane, but FC Cincinnati scored once more before the full-time whistle to see off the game.
Ottawa Fury FC will end their three-game homestand on Wednesday, May 2 against New York Red Bulls II in the school day game. Kickoff is at 10:30 a.m. at TD Place Stadium. The Fury will be looking to redeem themselves against Red Bulls II, who currently sit in a playoff position in the USL Eastern Conference. Ottawa will then hit the road on Monday, May 6 as they visit Penn FC (KO 6:30 p.m.).
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
“I think we played two games today. For me, it’s incomprehensible how the first-half was perhaps the best of the season and then the second-half you don’t have it. This was the problem today. We had good movement which we [had been working on] and then in the second-half the team simply didn’t."
“This is not to be forgotten. We will remember this very closely in our memories. This is unacceptable. We have to play 90 minutes, not just 45.”
Defender Eddie Edward
“I think I will need to watch the game over. It’s interesting how sports work – you have the first-half where we were very comfortable and in control, and then the game just turned on its head. As players we need to be aware that that can happen and be mentally stronger. If they hit a ‘worldie’ from half, we have to bounce back.”
Full stats report on USL Match Centre | Watch Match Highlights
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Crépeau; Edward, Falvey, Mannella, Manesio; Bruna (75' Sito), Portilla (60' Dixon), Oliveira; Taylor (63' Dos Santos), Reid, Haworth ©
FC Cincinnati (4-2-3-1): Richey; Hoyte, Keinan ©, Lasso, Smith; Ryan, Walker; Bone, Albadawi (72' McLaughlin), Ledesma (83' Haber); Konig (90+1' Welshman)
68' – Walker
69' – Bone
77' – Ledesma
50' – Lasso
56' – Ledesma
57' – Smith
63' – Reid
Next Match: Wednesday, May 2 v New York Red Bulls II – 10:30 a.m. – TD Place