Fury FC Continues on Unbeaten Run with 2-2 Draw in Pittsburgh
OTTAWA - Fury FC headed to Pittsburgh on Saturday to face the Riverhounds, looking to push its unbeaten streak to seven and continue its rise in the USL Championship Eastern Conference rankings. Fury FC rallied to come back from behind and collect another important road point in a 2-2 draw.
Pittsburgh opened the score with a redirected header went past the stretched arms of Callum Irving to take the lead in the 35th minute. The Hounds would add another one in the 62nd minute on the foot of Pittsburgh's 2018 leading scorer Neco Brett. Fury FC turned things around not long after, earning a shot from the penalty mark in the 66th minute, calmly converted by Wal Fall. Aidan Daniels levelled the score for Ottawa two minutes later, scoring his first goal in Fury FC colours. Ottawa's goalkeeper Irving made a game-saving stop in the final minutes to help his side collect the point.
In a toughly contested match where the long balls seemed more prevalent than usual for Ottawa, Fury FC maintained its high passing numbers, completing 466 passes with 79% accuracy over the 90 minutes.
Callum Irving saved penalty in stoppage time of the second half helped Ottawa secured the draw and an important point on the road. Irving finished the night with 4 saves on 6 shots and 5 crosses claimed.
Kevin Oliveira celebrated his 23rd birthday with a return to the starting lineup, featuring for 61 minutes and one key pass.
The Ottawa-Pittsburgh matchup marked Fury FC's forward Christiano François' return to Steel City. In his first game against his former club, the speedy Haitian, despite being closely guarded on his right wing, managed one shot on target.
Ottawa Fury FC is chasing a franchise record of 12 consecutive unbeaten league matches (excluding Canadian Championship and playoffs) established between May and August 2015. It is now unbeaten in its last 7 matches.
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"(Pittsburgh) is a very difficult place to play. We knew that coming here with a small field and a very aggressive team would be a tough game. We expected them to play a very direct style so we would have to be strong on second balls and then be able to regain possession and play. I think we dominated the match but a few seconds lapse cost us the goals."
"The (return from behind) is a fantastic sign of the character of our team, a team who believes until the end."
"We still have work to do to see our vision out there. To be able to maintain the level of our performance with the ability to rotate players. This is the big challenge in the future, knowing that this month (June) will be difficult with lots of matches."
Download match photos (credit: Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC)
Watch match highlights | Review match statistics
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Irving; Obasi, Meilleur-Giguère, Barnathan, Haworth ©; Fall, Ward (84' Attakora), Mannella; Oliveira (62' Daniels), Samb, François (90+3' Mutambala)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (3-4-3): Pack; Greenspan, Vancaeyezeele, Adewole; James, Forbes, Mertz, Rovira (86' Velarde); Brett, Kerr (83' Volesky), Dos Santos (86' Franke)
35' - PIT Kerr (James)
62' - PIT Brett (Mertz)
66' - OTT Fall (PK)
68' - OTT Daniels (Ward)
41' - PIT Vancaeyezele
45' - OTT Obasi
58' - PIT Dos Santos
61' - OTT Ward
73' - PIT Brett
Next home match: Saturday, June 15 v Memphis 901 FC - Fury FC Patio Party Night
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