Ottawa Fury Advance to Canadian Championship Semifinals
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Edmonton FC, Wednesday May 18th, 2016, photo by Meagan Simpson.
After winning a two game series against Edmonton FC, the Ottawa Fury FC have secured their spot in the semifinals of the Amway Canadian Championships.
The Fury won the first game played in Edmonton 3-0 and despite losing to Edmonton 2-0 on Wednesday night, they won the series 3-2 based on the aggregate of goals scored.
Coming into the second game with three goals in hand is what saved the team after coming out slow and giving up two goals before the half.
“The first half was the complete opposite of what we wanted to do,” said coach Dalglish. He felt his team sat back in the beginning of the game. “The minute you get complacent you don’t play with a competitive edge.”
Edmonton was not going to give up easy, putting pressure on the Fury from the outset. Edmonton FC’s Dustin Corea scored the first goal 27 minutes into the game, placing it in the top corner just out of reach of Fury keeper Marcel DeBellis. The second came just before half on a free kick from the 30 yard line by Edmonton’s Adam Eckersley.
After a good talking to during halftime, the Fury came out stronger in the second half, keeping Edmonton at bay.
Defender Lance Rozeboom said, “[Dalglish] laid into us a little and we absolutely deserved it. Coming out lethargic at home and going into halftime down two zero at home is unacceptable. He got us going and gave us a good speech and we got going in the second half.”
Fury were able to hold even after few close calls, including a free kick saved by DeBellis and a heart-stopping close call halted by Ottawa’s Fernando Timbo.
In the last five minutes of the game the 3,946 strong crowd rallied behind their team, chanting loudly and roaring when the final whistle blew.
“We got through. I have to give credit to the players in the second half, we changed it,” said Dalglish. “We saw the energy in the second half was better, this was a great learning experience for us as a new team.”
This is the first season the Fury have been able to advance in the Amway. The championship features five professional Canadian teams: Ottawa Fury, Edmonton FC and three MLS teams, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Impact Montreal. The winner represents Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
Fury now go on to face the Vancouver Whitecaps FC June 1 and 8 in the semifinals.
This is the first time in the team’s history that Ottawa Fury are advancing in the tournament. It will also be their first time facing a MLS team.
Dalglish says this is a great opportunity for his players to test themselves beside MLS players. He says that’s where many NASL players want to be. “If they want to be there, they have to be better than the guys that play there.”
DeBellis said that as a Canadian the win is even more special to him.
“It’s a new experience to play a MLS team, and it’s the first time we’re moving on in our club history. I think for myself and the guys who were here the first year it will probably hit home a little more.”
Ottawa Fury currently have a 1-2-3 (Win-Draw-Loss) record and are ninth in the NASL. They play their next league game against Jacksonville Armada FC this Sunday at TD Place.