Photo courtesy Matt Zambonin / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – FC Cincinnati produced an outstanding second-half performance, led by a stunning finish by Kenney Walker, to earn a 3-0 victory against Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place on Saturday afternoon. Ottawa’s Cristian Portilla produced the first serious chance of the game in the 34th minute as his free kick toward the right corner from 30 yards was saved by FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey. The hosts went close just before halftime as a clever move set up a chance for Carl Haworth, whose shot from a tight angle on the left was cleared off the line to leave the game even at the break. Cincinnati should have taken the lead two minutes into the second half as a well-timed run by Corben Bone put him in behind the defense, but Danni König whiffed on his finish from Bone’s low cross which allowed Fury FC’s defense to recover. Bone forced a good low save by Ottawa goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau a minute later, while König was also kept out by Crepeau after beating Fury FC’s offside line. Cincinnati finally broke through with two goals in two minutes, with Kenney Walker producing an incredible 45-yard volley that sailed into the right corner of the net to open the scoring, and Bone adding a second with a header on a stunned Fury FC defense. FCC’s Emmanuel Ledesma added a third with a beautiful chipped finish after a defensive mistake by Chris Manella with 13 minutes to go, and that wrapped up a stellar second-half display to claim all three points.
68’ – CIN – Kenney Walker
69’ – CIN – Corben Bone (Emmanuel Ledesma)
77’ – CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma
Three Things That Matter:
1. There have already been some absurdly good goals this season in the USL, but in terms of technique and inventiveness the 45-yard volleyed finish Kenney Walker produced to open the scoring for Cincinnati might be at the top of the list. As soon as Spencer Richey’s goal kick was headed, looping toward Walker, the midfielder shaped to put himself in position and produced a perfectly-struck effort that gave Fury FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau no opportunity to recover. Walker’s goal was his second in as many games after last Saturday’s equalizer against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, and his fifth in the USL for the club, but this one will stay with fans for a very long time.
2. Fury FC is still looking for its first win of the season after being overrun in the second half, but the hosts might look back on the first half of Saturday’s game disappointed it wasn’t able to carry the game more strongly against a flat opponent. Had Ottawa’s late chance that saw Carl Haworth’s finish be cleared off the line by FCC defender Blake Smith gone in it might have changed the perspective on the game, but as soon as Cincinnati upped its energy to start the second half there was clearly not going to be a way back as the hosts were outshot 7-1 in shots on goal after the break.
3. For a second consecutive week, FC Cincinnati put in a curiously flat performance in the first half that saw the side register only two shots overall and fail to test Fury FC Maxime Crepeau. The second half proved a very different matter as the visitors flew out of the gates to create numerous chances that arguably should have resulted in FCC taking the lead before Kenney Walker’s wonder-strike. The difference between the two was marked, with the question going forward whether Cincinnati can find the sort of energy it has produced upon the start of the second half in each of its past two games from the opening whistle.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Kenney Walker, FC Cincinnati – Walker’s spectacular finish provided a key breakthrough for the visitors, who cruised to victory following his 68th-minute strike.
Ottawa Fury FC vs. New York Red Bulls II – May 2, 10:30 a.m. ET, TD Place
FC Cincinnati at Indy Eleven – May 2, 7 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium