Fury FC Secures Hard-Fought Point against New York Red Bulls II in Annual School Day Game
OTTAWA - Ottawa Fury FC welcomed New York Red Bulls II for the second consecutive year for the annual School Day Game at TD Place on Wednesday morning. Fury FC rallied to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in what was a physical game in front of 6,807 boisterous local students from around the Ottawa-Gatineau region.
Fury FC welcomed its guests early in the match, setting the pace with an opening goal in the 6th minute. A stylish combination play between forward Mour Samb on the wing and midfielder Wal Fall, who found the ball at his feet in the six-yard box, led to the early lead. Fury FC decidedly held on to the one-goal margin throughout the match but saw New York Red Bulls II split the defence in the dying minute of the game to level the score. The 1-1 draw temporarily puts Fury FC back in the Eastern Conference top 10 with one more match to play this week as it hosts North Carolina FC on Mother's Day Sunday.
Wal Fall's goal in the sixth minute was his first in Fury FC uniform, his 33rd in career. Mour Samb collected his second assist of the season on that goal.
Facing a high-pressing opponent, versatile Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé did well in his left back position (first 75 minutes before moving to midfield) and helped Ottawa regain possession 13 times, in addition to his 3 interceptions.
This was Fury FC's second best game of the season in the shots on target/shots statistic, creating 6 shots on frame and a total of 15 shots, 10 of which came in the second half. This performance is second only to the match at home against Loudoun United FC in April when it racked up 7 shots on target in 18 total shots. This time around against a much stronger opponent in NYRBII.
Seven Canadian players contributed to this performance, 5 in starter roles. A total of 11 dressed for this match.
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"(The players) were absolutely amazing. During almost the whole game, they were outstanding. And of course, a word to all the (kids) that were here today, it was an amazing atmosphere. IT's a pleasure playing like this and it was a fantastic "party" for football."
"(The result) is very disappointing. Perhaps if you asked me before the match if a draw is a good result when you play against the first seed, perhaps the best team at the moment in USL Championship, of course, I would have said I'll take the point! But after what happened, I think we did enough to get out of this game with three points. However, the scoreboard sometimes lies. What we have to focus on as coaches is the performance, and the performance was amazing."
Midfielder Wal Fall
"There's no special feeling if you score against a top team. For me, every goal is the same. I am trying to help my team to win, and if I can help them win with my goals, I'm proud!"
"I've never had early games since I was 15, so... But I'm used to big crowds. It wasn't special for me but we appreciate that there were a lot of people in the stands watching us and help us, applauding through the whole game."
"Really disappointed (in the final result). We had a lot of chances. I don't know exactly how many chances we got but we should've come out of this game with at least three more goals."
Download match photos (credit: Freestyle Photography / Steve Kinsgman)
Watch match highlights | Review match statistics
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Irving; Gagnon-Laparé, Meilleur-Giguère, Attakora, Haworth ©; Fall (76' Obasi), Barnathan, Ward (46' Mannella); Oliveira (85' Dixon), Samb, François
New York Red Bulls II (4-2-3-1): Louro; Buckmaster (77' Loebe), Neallis (46' Kilwien), Scarlett, Rito; Zajec (62' Mines), Koffi; Stroud, Lema, Epps; Elney
6' - OTT Wall (Samb)
90+2' - NY Stroud
21' - NY Koffi
22' - OTT Oliveira
40' - OTT Ward
79' - NY Rito
90+1' - OTT Barnathan
90+3' - NY Mines
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