Steve Kingsman | Freestyle Photography
Ottawa Fury FC picked themselves up after a second half goal from Penn FC to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory on a sunny Saturday afternoon at TD Place. Two goals from Tony Taylor and Steevan Dos Santos less than ten minutes apart gave Fury FC three crucial points.
Ottawa, who featured seven Canadians in their starting eleven, knew this was an important match. They had defeated Penn FC in their first meeting of the year, so confidence was at a high.
Fury FC created the game’s first chance. Tony Taylor dribbled towards the edge of Penn FC’s 18-yard box, and slipped a clever pass through for Adonijah Reid. A defender was able to clear the danger, but it was an early warning from the home side.
Reid was at it again a few moments later. Eddie Edward whipped in a high cross that wasn’t fully cleared out of the box. Reid showed good technique to volley the ball towards goal, but his attempt hit the post and bounced wide.
Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau announced that he was up for the game in the 28th minute. Penn FC’s Paulo Jr sent a floating ball to the back post, and the Fury FC netminder made a diving intervention.
Crépeau stopped another opportunity later on in the half. The ball took an unlucky ricochet for Ottawa and Jake Bond was one-on-one with the keeper. Crépeau was aggressive and slid to break up the dangerous opportunity.
The final chance of the half went to Ottawa, who launched a quick counter attack. Kevin Oliveira tried to centre the ball, but Penn FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser intercepted it. That was the last action of the first 45, which ended 0-0.
Penn FC took the lead early in the second half, with Kenny Tribbett leaping to head home the game’s opening goal in the 56th minute.
Daniel Haber was introduced into the game just after the Penn FC goal. The Toronto native was making his Fury FC debut after being signed earlier this week.
Fury FC drew level in the 72nd minute. Crépeau booted the ball down the field and onto the head of Steevan Dos Santos. The Cape Verdean’s header bounced through to Tony Taylor, who got his angles just right as he flicked it over the rushing goalkeeper for his first league goal of the season.
Ottawa continued to pour the pressure on after the goal. Dos Santos was tripped up in the box as he was running through, and it was an easy penalty decision for the official. Dos Santos stepped up and placed a perfect penalty into the bottom left corner, helping his team flip the script on the game in less than ten minutes.
Penn FC showed some pushback as the match was winding down. A shot from 25 yards out was hammered at goal, but Crépeau was up to the task and punched it away. He then gobbled up the ensuing corner kick to end the scoring chance.
Ottawa pressed their opposition in the dying moments and Crépeau was commanding in the air to see out the match.
The Fury will have to keep their foot on the throttle, as one of the most important games of the season is coming up this week. Ottawa will welcome Toronto FC to TD Place on Wednesday, July 18 for the first leg of the Canadian Championship semi-final (KO 7:30 p.m.). Fury FC’s next game in USL is on Saturday, July 21 against Nashville SC (7:00 p.m.).
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
“There is still a lot of work to do, but I think we are on the right path when you see a team that is fighting no matter what. This team will always fight. I am very proud of the [the players.] Not just the eleven on the field, but everybody. Everybody makes it possible when there’s a comeback like this.”
"As I said from the beginning: if we are not able to implement a good culture, it will be difficult to win games. Culture will always eat strategy and tactics for breakfast, always. one of the core values of our culture is belief, and I think today was the first sign that we are coming."
"This was not a comeback where you are losing at the end of the first half and you come back, no. In the middle of the second half, there was a mistake - this is not the first time and it is something we have to urgently correct on set plays - but the team was able to believe, to have this positive energy, to have this work ethic and it brought us to a very good win."
Forward Steevan Dos Santos
“It was a difficult game because they scored first. We said he have to keep up and try to win because they were right ahead of us [in the standings]. It was a crucial game for us.”
On his goal… “I have been practicing penalty kicks in training. I just tried to place the ball in the side netting. When you hit the ball into the side net, it’s almost impossible for the keeper to save.”
Forward Tony Taylor
“It was a tough game for us. We knew it was going to be an important game, that we had to manage it. I thought we were playing well and attacking them, but they scored first. But we stayed, believing in our game, in our system, and believing in our team. So we stuck together and fought hard to get the first goal. From there the momentum just kept going our way and we kept pushing. And we won the second goal off the penalty. It was a great win."
Full stats report on USL Match Centre or download the Opta Stats Report
Watch Match Highlights | Watch Post-Game Comments
Hear comments from Fury FC General Manager Julian de Guzman as team hits mid-way point of USL season
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Crépeau; Obasi, Meilleur-Giguère, Attakora, Edward; Dixon ©, Manella (62' Portilla), Oliveira; Reid (57' Haber), Dos Santos (85' Sanon), Taylor
Penn FC (4-1-4-1): Peiser; Franco, Venter, Hawkins, Galvão; Tribbett ©; Bond (81' Muhammed), Menjivar, Rezende (85' Prince), Paulo Jr (72' Barone); Mkosana
56’ – Tribbett (Menjivar)
72’ – Taylor (Dos Santos)
81’ – Dos Santos
40’ – Tribbett
64’ – Oliveira
87’ – Taylor
Next Match: Wednesday, July 18 v Toronto FC (Canadian Championship) – 7:30 p.m. – TD Place - TICKETS
Next Home Match in USL: Saturday, July 21 v Nashville SC – 7:00 p.m. – TD Place - TICKETS