Fury FC Secures Its First Point of the 2019 Campaign in 1-1 Draw
OTTAWA - It was finally here: the first match of the 2019 USL Championship season was at their feet and the Ottawa Fury FC lads were ready to show their new form in Charleston against the Battery on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m. kickoff, MUSC Health Stadium). After an evenly balanced battle, Fury FC closed out week 1 of the season by securing its first crucial point with a 1-1 draw.
Fury FC took charge of the game early on, scoring its first goal of the 2019 campaign in the 5th minute of play off a left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner by Oliveira. The Battery had to wait until the 65th minute before they could level the score. Neither team would find a way to break the tie and the 1-1 score would hold as final.
Ottawa's starting XI featured six Canadians, with three more available for substitutions, which added up to 56% of available players in the formation for the Saturday match.
Newcomers Charlie Ward, Christiano François and Wal Fall made their debuts on the starting lineup for Fury FC on the night, with Dakota Barnathan, Thiago De Freitas and Jordan Tisseur beginning the match on the bench.
The new dynamic duo formed between Oliveira and François brought some serious firepower to Fury FC, and the support of seasoned veteran Haworth offered some dangerous combination play in attacking position for Ottawa.
Ottawa's back line was tested at times during the game, but remained solid, only allowing a limited number of opportunities to the opponent. Monsalve stood tall in front of goal and conceded only one.
Fury FC's new style of play was on display throughout the match, Ottawa enjoying 53% of the ball possession, stringing together 447 passes and creating six shots towards goal.
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"It was a very good performance and a very consistent performance from start to finish. Of course, there is a lot of room to get better, I think we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be, but for the first game we were able to show that Ottawa Fury can in moments control and dominate the game, not only at home, but away, and that we are a team that can be dangerous at every moment of the game."
"The difference [between a win and the draw] was the small details that allowed them to equalize the game. However, we had a lot of chances to put ourselves further ahead but unfortunately, we weren't able to close the game. On the road, against a team that is probably one of the best perhaps four or five teams in our conference, to be able to dominate and control big parts of the game, we have to be pleased with one point. Of course, we ambition to win at every moment in our life, but I think one point on the road it's important at this time."
Ottawa Fury FC (4-3-3): Monsalve; Obasi, Meilleur-Giguère, Attakora, Dixon (78' Gagnon-Laparé); Fall, Ward (87' Barnathan), Mannella (69' De Freitas); Haworth ©, Oliveira, François
Charleston Battery (4-3-3): Joe Kuzminsky; Woodbine, Bolt, Mueller ©, Paterson; Candela, Anunga, Higashi (75' Bosua); Rittmeyer (76' Marini), Svantesson (87' Kelly), Piggott
5' - OTT Oliveira (Haworth)
65' - CHS Svantesson
53' - OTT Obasi
62' - CHS Anunga
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