Ottawa flew from their home in Canada all the way across the United States to battle Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, thanks to Windows 10, we weren’t able to tune in until the 15th minute. Predictably however, it didn’t look like much was missed. With both Ottawa & Puerto Rico sitting near the bottom of the table, this was not expected to be a particularly high scoring match.
Despite tuning in around 15′, nothing particularly entertaining happened until a 22′ shot by Stewart straight to Puerto Rico’s keeper. A few minutes later, in the 26′ a corner kick gave Timbo a shot that found the back of the net. Sadly, the offside flag was up, and the game remained scoreless. It remained a pretty snooze-worthy match, even with Bailey taking the first yellow card in the 38′ after some overly aggressive play that left the ref signalling for a medic to help a fallen player off the field. The remainder of the first half showed some decent technical play, but nothing actually exciting from either side.
At the start of the second half, Puerto Rico seemed to come out with fire in their veins. They zipped across and sent a shot right along Ottawa’s goal line in the 46′, but it was cleared before actually crossing the line. It took Ottawa a while to match Puerto Rico’s new pace, with their first chance coming off a William’s cross in the 55′. Stewart booted the ball well wide of the net, despite being only a few metres from the goal. The lad had time, but focused on whacking it away with strength instead of lining up his shot.
Ottawa looked like they had given away the match in the 65′ when Ramos took a free kick from just out of the box and found the back of Ottawa’s net, sending scoreboards across the internet to a 1-0 lead for the boys in orange. Ramos’ extended celebration seemed to cause controversy with the refs, but the truth would eventually emerge in the 84′ that the goal was called back. It seems Ramos’ indirect free kick was not permitted, and thus the match remained scoreless. Expect this goal’s call-back to be the controversy of the week, unless we hear of the NASL imitating the Titantic and hitting another iceberg that further causes concern about the league’s future.
In the 70′ Ottawa would have their best chance of the half with a free kick near Puerto Rico’s net. Sadly, the kick would be deflected wide and gathered up by the keeper. The remainder of the match saw both teams fighting to get an elusive goal. The match would finally end after 4′ of stoppage time, with Puerto Rico and Ottawa both scoreless and the teams splitting a point each.
Both teams played relatively well, from a development standpoint. With good passing, turnovers, and even some excellent set plays, the two teams were decent. Neither team really stood above the other, and sadly neither really looked like they were playing at the NASL-level. This season it is already too late to expect either team to really improve much, but given the rumours concerning Ottawa, their next meeting may be their last.