Fury Bring Home First Win of the Season
All photos by Meagan Simpson.
Ottawa Fury wowed fans Saturday, taking their first win of the season, and at home nonetheless.
The season home-opening game was just what the team needed after playing their first four games on the road without a win.
It’s hard to say whether it was playing for a home crowd, or players starting to click, but the Fury were able to beat the Miami FC 2-0. Their first goal came 25 minutes into the game, when newcomer James Bailey crossed the ball into the box from a freekick, tapped in by fellow newcomer Fernando (Timbo) Sanfelice, making the score 1-0.
The Fury held onto their lead after the first half, keeping Miami at bay. Then after some great saves by Miami keeper Daniel Vega, Ottawa substitute Dennis Chin booted one into the top corner of Miami’s net in the last minutes of the game.
Chin, also playing his first season with the Fury, says getting that goal was just what he needed for himself and the fans.
Before coming into the home-opener on Saturday, the Fury had only scored one goal this season. Their first four games ended in one draw and three loses.
“We got (our first win) off our backs now, we know how to play, we tweaked some things during the week and it worked today,” says Chin.
New head coach Paul Dalglish says he wasn’t worried though. “I knew it was coming,” he told reporters after the match, “I’ve got complete trust in these players, the first four games were my fault.”
Dalglish says he was extremely pleased with how the team played today from a solid defence to shots on net. He says it took him some time to understand and learn the league, but now that he has he believes the team will start getting back to the success they saw at the end of last season.
The Fury saw many changes in the off season after their 3-2 loss in last season’s finals to the New York Cosmos. They lost head coach Marc Dos Santos, captain Ritchie Ryan and leading scorer Tom Heinemann.
Despite showing a fairly new group of players and coaching staff, Dalglish and his players believe they have what it takes to continue what they had last season.
“We have very experienced players, we don’t have any real rookies on our team so we’ve all been here,” says Chin, “and we have good leadership starting from the top down and we came in knowing we had to fight for the win.”
Fury moved up two spots after their win, placing them ninth overall, ahead of Miami FC.
Dalglish believes it’s only a matter of time before the team starts climbing up the standings.
Fans will find out if that’s true next weekend, when the Fury play their next home game, May 7th against Minnesota United FC before heading back on the road.