Fury FC Fall 3-1 on the Road in Their Last Regular Season Game
CHARLOTTE, NC- Ottawa Fury FC finished their historic 2019 USL Championship season with a hard fought battle in the rain, but fell short against Charlotte losing 3-1.
While the result wasn't in Ottawa's favor, the effort and competiveness of Popovic's squad was omnipresent during 90 minutes, which is an encouraging sign with the Play-in-Round stage of the USL Championship just around the corner. Dominic Oduro found the back of the net first at the 12th minute of play for the home side. From that point on, Ottawa's energy level continued to rise up. Wal Fall, who whore the captain armband, saw his shot hit the post halfway through the second half. Defensively, Meilleur-Giguère made one of his signature goal line clearance that left the crowd in admiration at the 33rd minute of play. The Fury FC headed to the locker room trailing by one after 45 minutes, but were by no means outplayed by their opponents.
Ottawa entered the second half by setting an exciting tempo for the last 45 minutes. Nikola Popovic made sure to integrate fresh legs early on into the second half and it paid off quite quickly. Hadji Barry buried a wonderful pass from François at the 60th minute. Ottawa's goalkeeper, Callum Irving, came out very strong in the second half, recording a few crucial saves that kept his team in the game. However, the Fury FC played the last 10 minutes with 10 men and saw Charlotte's captain score two late goals to give the home side a 3-1 win.
With this result, Fury FC finished the season 8th in the Eastern Conference, but still need to wait and see who will be the visitors on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7pm. TD Place stadium will host its first playoff match since 2015 and its first USL Championship Playoff match. The city capital will transform itself into soccer city as the Fury FC has the chance to write history once again.
Hadji Barry scored his 6th goal of the season tonight. Since joining the team, Barry has scored six goals and one in just 14 games played.
Despite the rainy conditions, Callum Irving performed very well tonight, recording 10 saves.
Defensively, the back four were once again very strong, recording 12 interceptions and completed 71.4% of their tackles.
Fury FC will know their Play-in-Round opponent tomorrow, October 20. Wednesday's visitors are between Charleston and Birmingham
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"It was a game with two different halves. In the first one I think that we were very flat and we had difficulties finding the connection between the sectors. I think that in the second half we adapted very well. We scored a goal early on and I think we were dominating the game by creating a few chances on goal. However, with a man down at the end of the game, they got more involved and created more occasions to score.
Despite the result, it was a game where we were able to rest some players in order to come out strong on Wednesday. We managed the roster in way that we can now come back at home and perform at our full potential for our first playoff match."
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Irving ; Dixon, Attakora, Meilleur-Giguère, Obasi; Barnathan, Mannella (59' Gagnon-Laparé), Fall© (45' Thiago); François, Oliveira (45' Barry), Tissot
Charlotte Independence (4-4-2): Miller; Dimick, Mansally, Roberts, Thicot; Martinez©, Oduro (88' Martinez), Bocanegra, Areman (74' Sabella); Jackson, Herrera (74' George)
12' - CLT Oduro
60' - OTT Barry
89' - CLT E. Martinez
90+4' - CLT E. Martinez
27'- OTT Attakora
50'- CLT Martinez
81'- OTT Barnathan
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