A quality seventy-minute performance from Ottawa Fury FC was ruined by a tumultuous final twenty minutes, perhaps the worst in club history, as Ottawa fell 3-1 at home against FC Edmonton in the first leg of the first round of the Amway Canadian Championship.
The match featured drama, tension, and quality at various points from both teams, and the post-match comments were as entertaining as the on-pitch duel itself.
“I’m a very honest guy, and I doubt the credibility and honesty of some people,” said Ottawa boss Marc Dos Santos, referring to a missed handball late in the match which would have given his side an opportunity to cut the FCE lead to 3-2. “If they want to give the ticket to Edmonton to qualify, just give them the ticket.”
On the flip side, FC Edmonton gaffer Colin Miller was thrilled with his side’s away result.
“I actually thought that we started to play some decent football after regrouping at 1-nil down,” said the former Canadian international. “Ottawa looked very dangerous, but we knew that if we could get the ball wider, we could create problems for their centrebacks.”
Fury FC got off to a brilliant start, as a poor corner clearance allowed Oliver to bury a shot from medium range just sixty-five seconds into Wednesday’s contest and put the hosts ahead.
The first half was all Ottawa, as Fury FC outshot the Eddies 7-0 and dominated possession. Despite the domination in nearly every statistical column, Oliver’s early marker stood as the only one at halftime as second-choice Ottawa striker Andrew Wiedeman squandered a pair of golden opportunities.
A 63rd minute handball in the Ottawa penalty area saw Laing step up to take the ensuing penalty for the Eddies, only to be denied superbly by Fury FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser.
Just three minutes later, Laing would again challenge Peiser on a free kick from distance, forcing the Frenchman into a diving save.
The Eddies continued to mount pressure, and Daryl Fordyce would draw them level in the 83rd minute, banging home a Tomi Ameobi rebound to bag the Eddies a crucial away goal.
Laing would then stun the sparse crowd at TD Place Stadium five minutes later, stripping Ottawa defender Rafael Alves on the edge of his own penalty area before finishing calmly past Peiser.
Fury FC’s fate in the Canadian Championship was then sealed in the 90th minute, as Laing sprinted down the left wing before crossing the ball to Tomi Ameobi, who one-timed the ball past Peiser and FC Edmonton almost certainly into the second round.
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury.