Photo courtesy Martin Bazyl / Toronto FC II
1. Ottawa Fury FC had to work far harder than it might have expected to after holding a two-goal lead at halftime, but the visitors claimed a 4-3 victory against Toronto FC II that broke a three-game losing streak and pulled the side level on points with Nashville SC in the eighth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference to keep its playoff hopes alive. Ottawa took the lead three times on the night, but it wasn’t until Adonijah Reid’s goal with 13 minutes to go that Fury FC made its lead stick in one of the wilder games of its season.
2. Having been held scoreless in its past four games while recording 12 shutouts this season, Thursday night’s game was certainly an anomaly in Fury FC’s season as the side’s attack finally found its footing for its highest-scoring performance of the regular season. The highlight came on an olimpico by Christian Portilla that gave Fury FC a two-goal lead late in the first half as the side executed on a play those who’ve watched the team regularly would have recognized, with attackers stacked at the near post as the corner-kick taker looks to curl a ball into the far side of the net. Portilla executed his delivery perfectly, catching Toronto goalkeeper Borja Angoitia out and scoring his second goal of the season.
3. Toronto put together one of the most remarkable passages of play in the 47th minute as the side scored twice in 37 seconds with Jon Bakero recording a goal and assist. The former PDL Top Prospect from FC Tucson first showed off his finishing prowess with a delightful curled finish from the top of the penalty area before showing off his passing with a perfect through-ball that Tsubasa Endoh finished well to pull TFC II level two minutes into the second half. The hosts might not have taken victory, seeing them officially eliminated from playoff contention, but Bakero certainly would have impressed the Toronto brass on hand in the stands.
TORONTO – Ottawa Fury FC took a back-and-forth 4-3 victory against Toronto FC II on Thursday night at Lamport Stadium to snap the side’s three-game losing streak and pull level with eighth-place Nashville SC on 38 points going into the weekend’s action. Ottawa took the lead in the fourth minute as Tony Taylor created space just outside the top-right corner of the penalty area and fired low into the left corner of the net. Toronto almost hit back four minutes later as a snap-shot by Jordan Hamilton after good move down the right was saved by Fury FC goalkeeper David Monsalve, but eight minutes before halftime Ottawa doubled its lead as Cristian Portilla curled home an olimpico from a corner kick on the right to the back post as the cluster of forwards at the front of the six-yard area effectively screened Toronto goalkeeper Borja Angoitia. Hamilton had a big chance to pull a goal back for the hosts in the 43rd minute only to head wide from close range, but Toronto pulled level with two goals in 37 seconds early in the second half as first Jon Bakero curled home a finish from the top of the penalty area into the top-right corner and moments later Tsubasa Endoh put home a low finish to the left corner off Bakero’s through-ball. Toronto almost took the lead in the 53rd minute as Hamilton hit the inside of the left post from a tight angle from the right, the ball caroming back to Monsalve as it failed to cross the line, while Ottawa went close to regaining its advantage in the 67th minute as Kevin Oliveira shot just wide of the left post on a counterattack. Oliveira played a key role as Fury FC struck two minutes later, however, as his free kick was put home by Thomas Meilleur-Giguere. Toronto got back on level terms from the penalty spot in the 74th minute as Hamilton converted into the roof of the net after being brought down by Monsalve in the left side of the penalty as both went for a rebound after Monsalve had made a big save on Ryan Telfer. But Ottawa regained the lead for good three minutes later as Adonijah Reid headed home at the back post after a cross from the right by Carl Haworth, and that proved the decider in the highest-scoring game between the two Ontario sides in their series history.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Carl Haworth, Ottawa Fury FC – Slotting in at right back, Haworth put in a solid defensive effort with seven clearances, four interceptions and two tackles and set up Adonijah Reid’s winner with a great cross from the right.