Match Preview | Ottawa Fury FC vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds
OTTAWA - Back in the friendly confines of TD Place Stadium, Ottawa Fury FC will look to clinch their third-straight win on Friday night when the club hosts the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in USL Championship action.
The Riverhounds, who have a five-point lead over Fury for sixth spot in the USL's Eastern Conference, will face an Ottawa team coming off a spirited 2-1 win over Saint Louis FC last weekend that has only lost once in the club's last nine league games, four of them wins. The Riverhounds, meanwhile, have been up and down lately with three wins and two losses in their last five contests.
Fury FC is on the hunt for their third-straight win and second home victory in as many weeks while coming off an impressive 2-1 win over Saint Louis FC last week.
Honoured at home last weekend for playing in his 150th match, red-hot Fury captain Carl Haworth score yet another highlight reel free kick to help propel his team to victory.
Christiano Francois, who is tied for second in team scoring behind Haworth with seven goals, was recently named to the Haitian National Team squad for upcoming CONCACAF Nation's League qualifying matches versus Curacao on September 7 and 10.
Fury FC has scored five goals in their past two home outings, both wins, against Saint Louis and Loudoun FC.
The last time Fury FC lost a league match was back on July 27.
Friday's game marks the second meeting between Fury and the Riverhounds this season after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Pittsburgh back on June 8. Aidan Daniels and Wal Fall scored for Ottawa in that one, while keeper Callum Irving stopped a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time to secure the single point.
Despite having played two fewer games, Ottawa is just three points behind Louisville City for seventh spot in the USL Championship's Eastern Conference. Fury also sits five points behind Pittsburgh, but have a game in hand.
Pittsburgh has an overall record of 12-8-4 (44 points) this season.
Fury FC completed 450 passes last week against Saint Louis.
Fury FC won their last game, but also led in all facets of the match, creating 13 shots, 5 on target, maintaining 52% of the possession, on top of having a 80.7% passing accuracy rate.
Scouting the Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Led into battle by Head Coach Bob Lilley, the Riverhounds find themselves holding down sixth spot in the USL Championship playoff race, with an opportunity to move higher up the table with a positive result against Ottawa. The Riverhounds have been strong of late in putting together a 4-1 record in their last five, a stretch that has seen Pittsburgh win 4-0 over Memphis 901 and lose 5-0 to North Carolina FC.
Offensively, the Riverhounds are led by forwards Neco Brett and Steevan Dos Santos, the latter making his return to Ottawa for the first time since making 60 appearances for Fury FC over the past two seasons.
Overall, the Riverhounds have scored 37 goals this year while conceding 24 and completing 78.7 % of their passes along the way.
What they're saying
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"We have to be very compact defensively, we know that they are a very direct team with big, strong players in front. And then when we have the ball we have to play our game, we try to create our movement, create chances and score goals. We're showing some moments of inconsistency that we have to correct and be at the same level throughout the whole game. I think when we accomplish this, we're a team fighting for first position."
Defender Robert Boskovic
"That's what we've been focusing on this week, staying compact and making it really difficult for them to play through the middle and forcing them to the outside. It should be a good test to get back-to-back wins at home."
HOW TO WATCH
LIVE STREAM: OttawaFuryFC.com
TWITTER: Follow @OTTAWAFURYFC for LIVE updates #OTTvSTL #ForTheFury
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