Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – Tucker Hume’s 89th-minute goal earned Ottawa Fury FC a 1-1 draw with the Rochester Rhinos in front of 5,525 fans at TD Place on Saturday afternoon as a late rally spoiled the Rhinos’ hopes of a third road win this season. Rochester (6-3-7, 25pts) opened the scoring with a terrific counterattack that saw Wal Fall spring Jochen Graf, who beat his defender the ball in behind, lift a finish that Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving got a hand to, only for Graf to tap home from close range to finish off the chance. Graf threatened again late in the first half as Irving was retreating after heading a clearance from outside his penalty area, with a quick pass by Ryan James to Graf leading to a shot from the left side of the area Irving got back in time to knock behind for a corner. Fury FC (5-6-6, 21pts) notched a pair of efforts in the opening half that called Rhinos goalkeeper Tomas Gomez into action, but the Rhinos continued to be the more dangerous side in the attacking third as the game entered the second half. Irving made a good save as Graf got a yard of space off a pass by Kenardo Forbes to try and put home his second of the game just past the hour-mark. Ottawa’s Ramon Martin Del Campo forced the first good save of the day for Gomez in the 69th minute, while the Rhinos’ goalkeeper was again called into action to gather another flicked effort by Tucker Hume as the hosts looked for an equalizer. Hume also headed high with three minutes to go, but then the tall forward grabbed the equalizer off a long throw-in by Carl Haworth with a minute to go to leave honors even.
15’ – ROC – Jochen Graf
89’ – OTT – Tucker Hume (Carl Haworth)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Ottawa Fury FC escaped with another late goal against Rochester on Saturday afternoon in front of another good crowd of 5,525 at TD Place, but in the long run the club’s slow starts and big finishes are still not providing the wins that will be needed to break into the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. There were some mitigating circumstances against the Rhinos, with a pair of first-half substitutions breaking up the team’s rhythm, but with the urgency Fury FC played in the final 20 minutes, the question was where that was earlier in the game. As it stands, the winless streak is now at four games, and the side is still looking up at the playoff positions.
2. The Rhinos entered TD Place with some flexibility as to how they wanted to approach the game – the visitors had some good spells of possession in both halves as they looked to dictate the tempo – but the manner in which Rochester’s goal arrived was about as perfect a road goal as you might find. Three quick passes forward sent Jochen Graf in behind his marker, and while the Texan saw Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving get a hand on the first finish, a simple tap in was left. The Rhinos then proceeded to attempt to stifle the game, especially sitting back in the second half. After conceding late, though, the side will probably be disappointed to not have come away with more possession in the final portion of the game which could have seen them manage the path to victory more comfortably.
3. Jochen Graf’s second goal in as many games also highlighted a strong all-around game for the 27-year-old who was a new face for the Rhinos this offseason. After competing in Europe since his collegiate career at Bradley University, Graf is looking an ideal fit as the central pivot for Rochester’s attack. Graf was making only his seventh start of the season on Saturday, having come off the substitutes bench in six other games, but with the work-rate he’s brought and clear ideas on where and how to find space on the counterattack, he’s looking due a good run in the side.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tucker Hume, Ottawa Fury FC – Hume’s late equalizer brought a point for Fury FC, and the tall striker threatened previously to break through in a bright substitute performance.
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Toronto FC II – July 29, 7 p.m. ET, TD Place
Rochester Rhinos vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds – July 22, 6:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium