August 6, 2017 - United Soccer League (USL) - Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA,ON - With playoff positioning on the line Saturday night, it was a scrappy affair at TD Place and Ottawa and Bethlehem battled for the second time this season. After dominating the first half and pacing themselves to a 1-0 halftime lead, the visitor threatened often in the second half to find an equalizer before a defensive mishap late in the match secured all the points for the Steel who claimed the 2-1 win.
Fury FC got off to the ideal start with plenty of early pressure that resulted in the opening goal. Forward Tucker Hume powered his way past the Bethlehem defence and his cross through the penalty area was deflected past Tomas Romero to send Ottawa ahead 1-0 after just seven minutes. Moments later, Fury FC came just inches from taking a two-goal advantage but the screamer from Carl Haworth was denied by the crossbar as last year's leading scorer remains snake-bitten since his return from injury.
High swirling winds affected dead ball scenarios for both teams in the first half, with the ball hanging in mid-air. Bethlehem pressed for an equalizer in first half stoppage time, but Callum Irving did well to keep Fury FC ahead going into the break.
Bethlehem came out firing in the second half as they looked to make a comeback, but Callum Irving was up to the task making a miraculous point blank save to keep Fury FC in the lead. The constant Bethlehem pressure finally broke the Fury FC defence as Canadian striker Chris Nanco received a one-touch pass from Cory Burke and fired it home the half-volley to tie the game at 1-1 .
Ottawa responded with their own chance as McEleney delivered a nice through ball to Sito, but his left footed chance just missed wide on the far side of the goal. Fury FC looked to have the momentum, but on a defensive miscommunication, Bethlehem took advantage. With Irving out of his net, Santi Moar sent the ball past sprawling Fury FC defenders and into the back of the net as the visitors took the 2-1 lead.
Down by a goal, Fury FC looked to try and get a point out of the game, but Bethlehem had closed down defensively and weren't able to be cracked even with all of the pressure from Ottawa.
The loss was Ottawa's first at home since May 13 ending their home unbeaten streak at six games.
Ottawa will wrap up their four game home stand next Saturday as they take on the Eastern Conference leading Charlotte Independence who are riding an 11-match unbeaten streak having not lost since May.
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