Ottawa Fury fall victim to North Carolina FC’s clinical finishing in 4-2 defeat

Photo credit: North Carolina FC

After an eleven-day layoff, Ottawa Fury FC visited North Carolina FC at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Maybe it was the rust coming off the long layoff or maybe it was the humid North Carolina weather, but Fury FC wasn’t prepared this past Wednesday night losing the match 4-2 conceding a goal in the opening three minutes.

It has to be said, both teams created good chances, but North Carolina FC made the most of its opportunities, which often is the difference between wins and losses.

North Carolina FC clinical in front of goal

The difference in the match this Wednesday evening was North Carolina FC’s clinical finishing in front of goal. Despite Ottawa Fury’s best efforts, creating the majority of good chances on the night, North Carolina FC put on a shooting clinic.

North Carolina FC took its early opportunity putting Ottawa Fury behind the eight-ball. In the 3rd minute, North Carolina FC’s Canadian midfielder, Kyle Bekker, put in a corner-kick that was headed home by Connor Tobin.

Fury FC responded well, creating chances in the 6th and 8th minutes from Adonijah Reid and Carl Haworth shots, which were both saved well by Alex Tambakis.

Chris Mannella finally beat Tambakis in the opposing goal with a shot from 25-yards in the 26th minute but wasn’t able to beat the North Carolina FC’s left post. This is the second consecutive game Mannella was able to drift through midfield and fire an accurate shot on goal, something hopefully we will see more of from the young Canadian.

As the game continued at 1-0, Fury FC was in danger of doubling its deficit if the team didn’t score soon. And, in the 30th minute, Daniel Rios, who scored against Fury FC in the teams’ early matchup this season, slotted home his team’s second goal of the game.

Even with the better chances, it just wasn’t Fury FC’s day on the soccer pitch, and things got worse when Marios Lomis scored a delicate goal with the outside of his right foot in the 43rd minute.

Kévin Oliveira got one back in first-half injury time to abate the stinging before both teams headed into the locker rooms.

After half-time, Fury FC was looking to build on Oliveira’s goal, but North Carolina eliminated any chance of a comeback when in the 57th minute Steven Miller picked up the loose ball just outside Fury FC’s penalty-area and fired a shot low past a diving Maxime Crépeau.

Fury FC got a second from an own-goal ending the game 4-2.

It was a frustrating night for Fury FC, the team was better in all of the shooting stats on the day aside from goals and shooting accuracy.

Haworth said after the match, “It's a tough one for us. We felt that we controlled a lot of the game, controlled the tempo of the game.”

North Carolina FC has to be commended for its scoring prowess on the night and Head Coach Nikola Popovic was ready to do so as well as praising his own players for the way they played.

“Congratulations to North Carolina.

“We knew that North Carolina was a good team with fantastic players. We knew the danger, so we were prepared. But the early goal changed the strategy we had planned a little bit. But the team after that first shock reacted very well and was able to create a lot of chances. This is football: sometimes a small detail can change everything.”

Popovic and de Guzman recognized for their good work

Julian de Guzman and Nikola Popovic have reiterated throughout the season their vision for Ottawa Fury and Canadian soccer. With the vision slowly taking shape, Popovic was awarded USL Coach of the Month honours as Fury FC was able to put together a stellar record in the month of May with four wins, two draws and zero losses.

De Guzman was also recognized for his role as Ottawa Fury General Manager but also for his career as a Canadian soccer player. De Guzman was one of the seven selected to represent Canada as an ambassador for the United 2026 bid.

“I’m thankful to be recognized as an ambassador. I’m thankful to be recognized as the GM of Ottawa Fury FC. I’m thankful to be recognized as an ex-Canadian professional who has played in some of the top leagues.”

The successful bid to co-host the World Cup in 2026 is no doubt a proud moment for him and all involved with soccer in Canada.

What’s next?

Fury FC will continue its road trip on Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Georgia to face Atlanta United 2 at 7:00 PM EST. Fury FC has dropped a place in the USL Eastern Conference standings to eleventh but have an opportunity to get three points against a weak Atlanta United 2 team.