Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC scored inside the opening minute to earn a 1-0 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC on Friday night at TD Place to extend its undefeated streak to five games. Ottawa took the lead after only 41 seconds as Steevan Dos Santos led Kevin Oliveira down the left flank, and the attacking midfielder slid his finish from a tight angle in off the right post. Bethlehem almost equalized just before halftime as Aidan Apodaca got in behind the Fury FC defense, but after he tried to find Santi Moar after Ottawa goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau came off his line to narrow the shooting angle, Fury FC defender Nana Attakora made a saving challenge to send the ball behind for a corner kick. Carl Haworth then hit the left post for the hosts in stoppage time before putting the rebound into the right side-netting as it remained a one-goal game at the break, and the Fury FC captain found the woodwork again seven minutes into the second half after cutting in from the right wing to set up a near-post shot. Crepeau produced a fine save with 20 minutes to go to keep Ottawa ahead as he tipped over a shot by Steel FC’s Jeremy Rafanello, but while Ottawa forced a pair of good late saves by Bethlehem goalkeeper Jake McGuire the insurance goal wasn’t necessary as Fury FC recorded a fifth consecutive shutout.
1’ – OTT – Kevin Oliveira (Steevan Dos Santos)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Ottawa’s Cape Verde connection came through inside the opening minute of the game and made a small piece of club history in the process. Kevin Oliveira’s goal, set up by fellow countryman Steevan Dos Santos, was the fastest league goal in Ottawa’s professional era, and sat only two seconds off the club’s record in all competitions behind Sito Seoane’s 39th-second tally against FC Edmonton in last year’s Canadian Championship. Oliveira’s first goal for his new club was sharply taken and was part of an active night in the attacking third that helped the hosts look dangerous throughout.
2. While the woodwork was kind to Oliveira, that wasn’t the case for his teammate Carl Haworth, who twice was denied the chance to add to Fury FC’s lead either side of halftime. The Canadian winger will likely have been more disappointed not to cash in on the first opportunity, particularly as the rebound off the left post ended up sitting favorably for Haworth to put away the second chance, but both near-misses ended up proving academic as Fury FC extended its undefeated streak to five games (3-0-2).
3. Bethlehem had positive moments throughout the night, but the visitors were unable to turn that into the goal they needed to continue their recent run of form as Ottawa’s defense did well to limit Steel FC’s visits or recover well when needed. The best example of the latter came at a key moment late in the first half as for the second time in a short span Bethlehem’s Aidan Apodaca timed his move well to beat the Ottawa offside trap, but Canadian international Nana Attakora did just enough to clear to safety after Apodaca tried to play in Santi Moar for a tap-in finish that would have leveled the game.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Nana Attakora, Ottawa Fury FC – Attakora made a goal-saving challenge to keep Fury FC ahead late in the first half and finished the night perfect in 10 duels while also recording two tackles and nine clearances.
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Toronto FC II – May 30, 7 p.m. ET, TD Place
Bethlehem Steel FC at North Carolina FC – June 2, 7 p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park