Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC and Louisville City FC played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,015 fans at TD Place on Sunday afternoon as Louisville extended its lead in the USL Eastern Conference to seven points with four games to go in the season. Ottawa had the first chance on goal as Steevan Dos Santos’ shot from 20 yards was easily handled by Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, while Louisville’s Mark-Anthony Kaye had a similar effort from just inside the penalty area in the 14th minute. Louisville’s Luke Spencer almost gave his side the lead on a breakaway in the 36th minute only for the covering defense to do enough to reduce the danger of his finish. City found the breakthrough 11 minutes into the second half, however, as a good build-up down the left saw Speedy Williams chip a ball to George Davis IV as he broke in from the right, and Davis’ first touch carried him around Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving and able to tap home into the open net. Ottawa almost answered immediately as Sito Seoane forced a good low save by Ranjitsingh, but Fury FC leveled in the 68th minute as Carl Haworth’s initial shot was saved, but Nick DePuy was in the right place to put home the rebound. Haworth forced a low save to the right corner by Ranjitsingh with 11 minutes to go, and Kyle Venter’s header from the ensuing corner was cleared off the line by a Louisville’s Sean Reynolds. The visitors had a big chance to retake the lead two minutes later as Spencer shot high from 10 yards after a driving run by Davis, and in the 89th minute Davis almost bagged his second with a low shot that just missed the left corner. Ottawa almost grabbed a dramatic victory in stoppage time as Sito Seoane hit the crossbar with a rasping effort from the top of the penalty area, but the game ended level as Ottawa’s winless streak reached eight games.
56’ – LOU – George Davis IV (Speedy Williams)
68’ – OTT – Nick DePuy
Three Things That Matter:
1. Louisville missed out on the chance to move level on points with Western Conference-leader Real Monarchs SLC as it was unable to hold its lead on the road against Fury FC, but in continuing its undefeated streak to five games the side has put a big margin between itself and any challengers for the lead in the Eastern Conference standings. A seven-point lead with four games to go in the regular season should be enough to ensure the road to the Eastern Conference Championship goes through Slugger Field, with the chance for even more.
2. City’s opening goal by George Davis IV, his second in as many games, was a good example of how the Eastern Conference-leader has been able to produce in the attacking third consistently despite a regularly-rotating cast in its attack. The ball movement down the left pulled Fury FC’s attention toward the ball, allowing Davis to get a yard head-start as his run from the opposite flank provided the outlet for the final pass. Speedy Williams hit Davis in stride, allowing him to carry the ball past Callum Irving and finish calmly.
3. Ottawa’s fifth consecutive draw continued to dim the lights on the hopes the side had for a playoff berth in its inaugural USL season as another strong effort against one of the league’s top teams left the side shaking its head as to the lack of good fortune it has had in 2017. After Andrae Campbell’s shot off the post a week ago in a draw against the second-place Charlotte Independence a week ago, the woodwork again came to deny Fury FC another big three points as Sito Seoane’s effort ricocheted off the crossbar. The four missing points from those near-misses are the difference between Ottawa being in the thick of the playoff race, and being on the outside looking in.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
George Davis IV, Louisville City FC – Davis scored his second goal in as many games to open the scoring, set up a big chance for the visitors late and almost grabbed victory himself in a sterling attacking effort.
Ottawa Fury FC at Harrisburg City Islanders – September 27, 6:30 p.m. ET, FNB Field
Louisville City FC at Toronto FC II – September 27, 7:30 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre