Ottawa Fury win 1-0 on the road against Indy Eleven
Photo credit: Indy Eleven
Ottawa Fury FC get the 1-0 win over USL Eastern Conference rivals Indy Eleven. The one thing that Head Coach Nikola Popovic has developed is a resilience and a solidity, which was on display Wednesday night in Indianapolis, Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Visiting old NASL foes
Both Fury FC and Indy Eleven come from the now defunct NASL. The Wednesday night matchup was the first between the two teams since 2016.
As usual, Fury FC conceded possession affording little space for Indy Eleven players to attack dangerously. The lineup remained from Ottawa Fury’s previous match against FC Cincinnati with an athletic midfield of Kévin Oliveira, Chris Mannella and Jamar Dixon.
The only goal of the game came from an Oliveira free-kick that was mistakenly put into the Indy Eleven goal by Carlyle Mitchell in the 28th minute. The ball was put into a dangerous area by Oliveira but there was no Fury player to get on the end of it and Mitchell missed his clearance and directed the ball into his own goal to Fury FC’s delight.
As a team that likes to concede possession, scoring the first goal early in matches plays in Ottawa Fury’s favour. After the opening goal, Fury FC was able to sit back in its defensive block and soak up pressure.
Fury FC is now 8-0 when they score the first goal in all competitions.
Indy Eleven increased the pressure as the game wore on, but Maxime Crépeau was again influential in keeping the ball out of the Fury FC net as he has been for the most of the season with important saves in the 17th minute before Fury FC’s goal and 39th minute from an acrobatic Jack McInerney bicycle-kick.
Maxime Crépeau regaining top form
After a rocky start to the 2018 USL season, Fury FC has become a difficult team to beat. In the entire month of May—a span of six matches—Fury FC didn’t concede one goal. The acquisition of Doneil Henry on loan from the Vancouver Whitecaps, who is now back playing for Vancouver regularly and the inclusion of Dixon in the midfield were both contributors to Fury FC”s defensive solidity, but Crépeau’s performances in goal was the biggest reason for Fury FC’s run of success in the month of May.
His performances this season have not gone unnoticed with USL Player of the Month honours for May.
Ottawa Fury will enjoy a run of four matches at TD Place after three consecutive road matches in the USL starting with a match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday, July 8 at 1:00 PM.
Fury FC lost to the Riverhounds early this season during the team’s poor start but will be a different proposition on Sunday against the USL Eastern Conference second-place team.
Fury FC currently sits twelfth and is two points out of a play-off spot.
The home run includes Fury FC’s Canadian Championship semi-final first leg against Toronto FC on Wednesday, July 18.