Ottawa Fury set to face Toronto FC after beating AS Blainville in the Canadian Championship
Photo credit: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography/Ottawa Fury FC
Ottawa Fury FC beat AS Blainville 1-0 on Wednesday in the Canadian Championship Second Qualifying Round and 2-0 over two games. After a shaky first leg, Ottawa Fury looked more assured at home at TD Place for the second leg.
The defending Canadian Championship and MLS champions Toronto FC are next for Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship semi-finals.
AS Blainville no problem for Fury FC at TD Place
AS Blainville, a semi-professional team that plays in the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ), fought valiantly over two legs against Fury FC and was unlucky to come away from the two games without a goal.
In the first leg in Laval, AS Blainville competed for every loose ball and should have come away with at least a draw, but a Tony Taylor goal for Fury FC in the first minute was the difference on the day. To get the necessary result in the second leg was always going to be a tall task for the semi-pro team from Quebec, especially as Fury FC was coming off a road victory in the USL over New York Red Bulls II.
Fury FC looked confident and happy to be back at TD place after a stint of road matches. The only goal of the match came from Fury FC captain Carl Haworth in the 21st minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the box and smashed the ball by Erwann Ofouya after some good play from Adonijah Reid, who is coming off a hat-trick and USL Player of the Week honours.
Fury FC were heavy favourites before the two legs and in the end proved their quality against part-time players.
Some lineup notes: Nikola Popovic made no changes to his starting lineup from Sunday’s match against Red Bulls II, Gatineau Native Maxim Tissot has made 4 straight substitute appearances after returning from injury and Maxime Crépeau earned his third straight clean sheet in all competitions.
Toronto FC next for Fury FC
Fury FC’s role will be reversed when they face Toronto FC in the next round of the Canadian Championship. Toronto FC has experienced an up and down season thus far and Fury FC has an opportunity to earn a historic victory for the club in a two-leg series.
The defending MLS champions currently sit second last in the MLS Eastern Conference. Still, Fury FC will have to be at their best if they want to earn a berth to finals. The two legs will be played on July 19 at TD Place and July 26 at BMO Field in Toronto
Popovic has stated before his expectations for his team in the Canadian Championship and will prepare accordingly for the two legs.
“We are very, very happy. This is the most important competition for us. The Canadian Championship was always our goal and one of the targets for this season was to reach the semi-final. Mission accomplished and now Toronto is coming,” said Popovic after the match.”
Ottawa-native Jamar Dixon commented after the match about Fury FC’s upcoming opponents as well.
“You have to look at every game the same way – it doesn’t matter if it’s Blainville, Toronto FC or Montreal. You have to come with the right game plan and mentality and stay focused.”
Fury FC has USL action to focus on now before the semi-finals of the Canadian Championship.
Fury FC will be on the road again this upcoming Sunday when they face FC Cincinnati in USL action on Canada Day. The match will be a first of two road games.
Fury FC currently sits twelfth in the USL Eastern Conference standings and FC Cincinnati sits first.
Hopefully, Fury FC can make it an extra special day for Canada with a win over the MLS bound FC Cincinnati.