Fury FC Drop 4-2 Result in North Carolina Despite Resilient Performance
OTTAWA - On a humid Wednesday night in Cary, NC, Ottawa Fury FC fought off North Carolina FC for as long as possible but ran out of time, bowing out of town after a 4-2 loss.
While North Carolina FC struck first, making the most of an early corner kick in the fourth minute that Tobin redirected in the back of the net, Fury FC regained control of the match and created a number of dangerous attacks within the opening 10 minutes, creating open space through the NCFC backline and shifting pressure on the home team.
Momentum was the name of the game throughout the first half, with Ottawa dictating the pace with the relentless effort we've come to know them for. Unfortunately for Fury FC, an opportunistic NCFC jumped on one of the rare opportunity provided by Ottawa to add to their tally and take a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute of play. Ten minutes later, Austin da Luz sent a beautiful cross in the box that Lomis clinically redirected with a soft toe-touch to beat Crépeau in goal. Despite having created most of the chances and maintained a healthy portion of the possession, Fury FC found themselves chasing the score, but kept forging ahead.
Kevin Oliveira pulled one back for Ottawa seconds before the halftime whistle, breaking down the NCFC defense after a poor pass by Miller. Oliveira's right-footed finish from the opposite side of the box found the bottom right corner, just out of reach of Tambakis, giving Ottawa a second wind, going into halftime down 3-1 with everything still up for the taking.
Reid, Dos Santos, Haworth, Oliveira all had their chances, all narrowly missed. North Carolina did not let their chances go in vain, adding one more in the 57th minute off a nicely struck Miller shot from just outside the Ottawa box. With 30 minutes to go, frustration was starting to show on Fury FC side, but true to their new identity, they kept on battling.
One bright moment on the night was in the 69th minute when Fury FC fans saw the long-awaited 2018 debut of Maxim Tissot on the field. The left-footed winger had been dealing with injuries since his arrival in Ottawa, and his return brings added Canadian depth and creativity to the formation. Tissot had an immediate impact on the game, putting pressure off a Haworth cross that resulted in a NCFC own goal, bringing Ottawa within two.
Fury FC ultimately couldn't pull a complete come back and left the WakeMed Soccer Park field without the much desired 3-points. Ottawa will now turn their focus towards Saturday's match in Atlanta as they look to put the pieces back together to continue the progression they coordinated in May.
**On the night, Ottawa also learned of their Canadian Championship opponent with AS Blainville defeating the Oakville Blue Devils 3-1 on aggregate to move on to the next qualifying round of the competition. Ottawa will face Blainville in a home-and-home series on June 20 (in Blainville) and then at TD Place (June 27 at 7:30 p.m.). The winner of this two-leg round will go on to face Toronto FC in the semifinals.
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"Congratulations to North Carolina, the team that won. But we have to analyse a bit better the game. If you look only at the scoreboard, it was 4-2, but I think what was [the story] of this game, the scoreboard doesn't correspond to what happened in the game. I think we had enough chances to get out of here with one point or with three points. However, sometimes in football this kind of situation occurs, and who scores more goals end up winning."
"We are very proud of our players who fought until the end, who believed it was possible to come back and get the three points."
"We did enough to score at least five or six goals! But we have to better focused, particularly on the first goal we conceded in the set play; that is our responsibility, we have to be better."
"We knew that North Carolina was a good team with fantastic players. We knew the danger so we were prepared. But the early goal changed the strategy we had planned a little bit. But the team after that first shock reacted very well and was able to create a lot of chances. This is football: sometimes a small detail can change everything."
Forward Carl Haworth
"It's a tough one for us. We felt that we controlled a lot of the game, controlled the tempo of the game. We need to tighten things up, not give away such great opportunities on the counter-attack, but apart from that, we can take some positives from tonight and move on from this."
Full stats report on USL Match Centre or download the Opta Stats Report
Rewatch Game (highlights not available at time of publishing)
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Crépeau; Obasi, Falvey, Attakora, Meilleur-Giguère; Oliveira, Mannella, Dixon; Reid (69' Tissot), Dos Santos, Haworth ©
North Carolina FC (4-4-2): Alex Tambakis; Peabo Doue (34' Harrington), Aaron Guillen, Connor Tobin, DJ Taylor; Austin da Luz ©, Graham Smith (71' Kandziora), Kyle Bekker, Steven Miller; Daniel Rios (83' Shipalane), Marios Lomis
3' - Tobin (Bekker)
30' - Rios (Miller)
43' - Lomis (da Luz)
45+2' - Oliveira (Obasi)
57' - Miller (Rios)
74' - Taylor (OG)
47' - Tobin
54' - Attakora
69' - Smith
79' - Obasi
87' - Bekker
Next Match: Saturday, June 16 @ Atlanta United 2 - 7:00 pm - Coolray Field
Next Home Match: Wednesday, June 27 v Winner QR1 of Canadian Championship - 7:30 pm - TD Place
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