Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
1. Handed a crucial early advantage, Ottawa Fury FC ensured it ended its four-game home stand with a third victory on Friday night as it took a massive win against a Tampa Bay Rowdies side that was also looking for a boost to its postseason hopes. Tony Taylor’s opening goal after 23 seconds may have been fortuitous as Rowdies goalkeeper Cody Mizell’s error made a big difference in the contest, but Fury FC ended up good value for its victory that gave the side a little revenge for its defeat at Al Lang Stadium earlier this season.
2. The Rowdies produced a solid response to Mizell’s early error, but just couldn’t quite connect in the attacking third consistently enough as Fury FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau made some timely interventions on set pieces to help limit Tampa Bay to only two shots on goal for the night. The side’s road woes have been well documented over the past two seasons, but this result just puts more pressure on Wednesday night’s visit from the Charleston Battery, a game the Rowdies might feel is now a must-win.
3. The New York Red Bulls II maintained their winning ways at MSU Soccer Park as they recorded a fourth consecutive home victory to move level with Real Monarchs SLC for the league-lead on nine home wins for the season, a result that also put another dent into Penn FC’s playoff hopes. New York controlled the game in the opening 35 minutes as its visitors were put on their heels regularly in conceding the opening two goals of the game, and while Penn got back into the game in the second half it became the latest side to come away from the Red Bulls II’s fortress without a point to show for its efforts.
OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC rode early goals in either half to defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-0 at TD Place. Fury FC took the lead after just 23 seconds as a shot from just outside the penalty area by Tony Taylor slipped through the hands of Rowdies goalkeeper Cody Mizell and found the net. The Rowdies almost hit back 10 minutes before halftime as Stefano Bonomo couldn’t quite make clean contact on Junior Flemmings’ through-ball to the penalty spot. Ottawa’s Adonijah Reid also went close with a well-hit effort that flashed just over the crossbar, while Taylor almost added a second late in the half with a header that went just wide of the right post after a back-post corner from the left by Kevin Oliveira. Fury FC doubled its lead eight minutes into the second half, however, as Nana Attakora got on the end of a free kick by Oliveira to finish from close range, and that insurance goal proved enough to ensure all three points for the hosts.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Kevin Oliveira, Ottawa Fury FC – Oliveira proved the biggest threat on the night for Fury FC with four key passes, and set up Nana Attakora’s second-half goal that provided the insurance marker for the hosts.
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – A pair of first-half goals saw the New York Red Bulls II register their fourth consecutive home victory as they defeated Penn FC 2-1 at MSU Soccer Park. New York threatened in the 12th minute when Jose Aguinaga gathered the punched clearance of a cross by Penn FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser at the top of the penalty area, but Peiser recovered in time to make the save. Seven minutes later the hosts went ahead, however, as Andrew Tinari put home a precise finish in off the left post off a cutback cross by Jared Stroud from the right side of the penalty area. The Red Bulls II doubled their lead in the 25th minute as Tom Barlow scored from close range off a low ball to the top of the six-yard area by Aguinaga, and goalkeeper Evan Louro preserved that advantage five minutes before halftime as he made a good save to keep out a chance for Penn’s Paulo Junior. The visitors threatened again just before halftime as Pedro Galvao curled a finish just wide of the right post, but Penn pulled a goal back just before the hour-mark as Lucky Mkosana tucked home the rebound after Isaac Osae’s initial shot had been saved. New York missed out on restoring its two-goal lead with 15 minutes to go as Barlow sent his finish high off a cross from the left by Chris Lema, but Penn was unable to find a late equalizer as New York held on for all three points.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jared Stroud, New York Red Bulls II – Stroud produced a great assist on Andrew Tinari’s opening goal and finished the night having completed 21 of 26 passes with four tackles.