OFFC Fury FC MotM – Nicki Paterson, Honourable Mentions – Ryan Richter, Julian de Guzman
HOME OPENER VICTORY, WHAT A DAY!!
The Fury FC picked up a 1-0 victory over MLS-bound Minnesota on Saturday in their season home opener.
I was standing in the supporters section with the Bytown Boys on Saturday and have yet to have had the chance to rewatch the match fully on YouTube, due to a very busy week.
The quick observations that can be taken from the match is that the new 4-2-3-1 formation is paying off significant dividends for the Fury, with JDG, Nicki Paterson, Richie Ryan, Patryk Misik and Mauro Eustaquio all more than suitable for the 2 DM positions.
JDG in particular had an outstanding 2nd half, making tackles left and right, while Tom Heinemann scored the winner in the 67th minutes off a side-footer after nifty footwork to beat a Minny defender. Paulo Jr. has proven to be the x-factor for the Fury with his dynamic wing play, which has added an extra dimension to what the Fury have had in 2014.
The Fury FC had picked up what was only their 2nd victory at TD Place in history, since their move during the 2014 summer break. The players were ecstatic after the match, with at least 5 players jumping into the supporters section in Section W after the game to receive the plaudits from the supporters.
I will be rewatching the game today on YouTube and post a full detailed recap here today or tomorrow. Until then, please enjoy the pictures, recaps and videos below from the 1-0 home opener victory!
Remember that the Fury are back in action at TD/Landsdowne this Wednesday in the 1st leg of the Voyageurs Cup preliminary round at home vs. FC Edmonton, with the winner of the two legs moving on to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the semis.
If you enjoyed the atmosphere, why not check out Section W on Wednesday or Saturday with Bytown Boys, Stony Monday Riot and Fury Ultras? Here are some photos that Fury FC shared of Section W from Saturday. Come onnn you Fury!
– Talking points: The trouble on the Air Canada flight with Air Oliver the day before the match could not have had at least a small impact on the proceedings. Manager Marc Dos Santos starts with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Ottawa once again rues the decisions of the referees for the 2nd straight week, with the Kyle Porter equalizer looking highly likely as coming from an offside position.
– Lineup and formation: Ottawa started the match in a 4-2-3-1 formation, a formation he has started with only once or twice in 2014, although it is frequently seen in the 2nd half of games. There were 4 changes to the starting lineup, as Paulo Jr. and Julian de Guzman joined Richie Ryan, Phil Davies and Sinisa Ubiparipovic on the sidelines due to injury and suspension.
Nicki Paterson and Oliver returned to the XI from their own suspensions, while Tom Heinemann and Brandon Poltronieri came in to start for Andrew Wiedeman and Drew Beckie, after the two came off the bench last week. Dos Santos shifted the formation to a 4-3-3 in the 86th minute to close out the game and partly due to necessity after Poltronieri had to come off, due to cramps, for Mauro Eustaquio.
– Canadian content: There was no all-Canadian midfield for the Fury this time, as two Canadians, Patryk Misik at RCM and Carl Haworth at RW, earned the starts. There were substitute appearances for two further young Canadians, as Beckie came on once again at DM, while Eustaquio joined him in the midfield near the end of the play.
– Play: It seems that Dos Santos came out to use the long ball more than he normally would like to have done so this game, as he had pointed a number of times to the poor turf conditions in Atlanta, declaring it the “worst in the NASL”. This was pretty much confirmed with the 4-2-3-1 formation showcasing Heinemann leading the line.
I thought Tommy played a pretty decent game, winning a number of headers in dangerous areas and finding his teammates often with lay-offs and holding the ball up and even making two tackles on defenders that led to chances. But he fluffed his best chance, in the 1st half, and he mis-controlled one crucial pass to him in the area. I found that he was being used easily as a scapegoat by some fans after the game, but I believe it was the team and the staff instead that decided tactically to pump a number of long balls to him this match, with the poor turf conditions. I believe he did what he could with all these hoofed balls up to him, winning over 50% of the aerial duels against 2 CBs, which was a job well done in my opinion. I suspect his performance reflected the coaching staff asking the team to play long balls more than usual, if anything.
I was hoping to see more of Oliver during the game in his role as a CAM. That is a key position and the player playing that role must exert his influence in the game. He did have one of the best chances in the game, getting on the end of Heinemann’s flick-on, but he was quiet most of the game when he should have had a more starring role, despite the turbulent incident he experienced just a day prior. I believe this is more of an indictment of how the team prepared for and went about this game, rather than Oliver per se, as the reliance on the long ball often bypassed Oliver in the CAM role.
– Looking forward: Chris Hofley of the Ottawa Sun has reported that MDS expects the entire senior squad, minus Davies, to be back and match fit in time for the home opener this Saturday vs. Minnesota. That would mark the return of Paulo Jr., Ryan, Ubiparipovic, as well as the end of the 1-game ban for de Guzman. The Fury midfield suddenly looks far more deep as the fans welcome the team into TD Place/Lansdowne for the first time this season.
8′ Ottawa – Fury FC with the first dangerous attempt, as Oliver tries an ambitious 25-yarder that just goes wide
12′ Atlanta – The Silverbacks find Kyle Porter streaking in on the right flank with a long diagonal ball. LB Mike Randolph recovers just in time to make clumsy but fair challenge on Porter
20′ Ottawa – A dangerous corner whipped in by Paterson finds Alves and Falvey streaking in, with Falvey meeting the ball with a firm header that just goes over the bar
32′ Ottawa Goal – Randolph finds Poltronieri with a chipped ball into the left flank corner. Poltronieri does well to get to the ball and is fouled with a kick to the chest. The resulting FK from the corner by Paterson is dangerously whipped in low, and is glanced on by an Atlanta CB as it finds the net. Nicki proceeds with a celebration that makes light of the Oliver incident on the Air Canada flight, to the delight of players and fans. 0-1 Ottawa.
39′ Ottawa – A Poltronieri cross is met by a charging Haworth in the box, with Ottawa players asking for a handball on Haworth’s shot
40′ Ottawa – Heinemann is set racing clear all alone from a big clearance and a header from midfield, but he fluffs his lines with a tame shot to the keeper
45′ Atlanta – Peiser is called on to make a punch charging out of the 6-yard box after the Fury are slow to defend a quickly taken FK
48′ Atlanta – Peiser makes a great save and then Paterson is on the line to clear the shot from the rebound as the Fury escape one
56′ Atlanta Goal – An expertly put-together passing play finds Shaka Bangura behind the defense and he draws in Peiser and finds Kyle Porter all alone in front of the net. However, Porter is almost certainly in an offside position, but the assistant referee can not keep up with the pace of the passing and fails to raise his flag. 1-1.
62′ Ottawa – A flick-on by Heinemann is met by a charging Oliver with a volley that just goes over
66′ Atlanta – Peiser makes a fabulous save with his legs after a missed tackle allows Atlanta to get behind the defense
71′ Atlanta – Peiser wins his MotM performance with this double save on Hans Denissen after a lifted pass goes over the head of Falvey, as the keeper shows his quickness on his feet
81′ 84′ Ottawa – Wiedeman makes his presence known quickly, with a shot from the CAM position testing the keeper, and then getting a head on a decent cross a few minutes after