Ottawa Fury FC takes 2-0 series lead

Ottawa Fury FC 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Ottawa Fury FC have built a 2-0 lead in their 2016 semi-final series against reigning national champions Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Ottawa club scored twice in the first half, with Canadian Carl Haworth involved in the attack on both goals in the victory.

The return leg takes place in one week, with 90 minutes dividing a place in the national final. Both Amway Canadian Championship semi finals wrap up on Wednesday 8 June, with the matches broadcast live on TSN2. The Montréal-Toronto match kicks off at 19.30 ET / 16.30 PT (19.30 local at Stade Saputo) while the Vancouver-Ottawa match kicks off at 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT (19.00 local at BC Place).

Haworth assisted on Jonny Steele’s opening goal in the third minute, then triggered a save from which Paulo Júnior scored on a rebound in the 41st minute. Ottawa goalkeeper Romuald Peiser posted the clean sheet, with his best save in the 54th minute by punching away a Marco Bustos deflection from a Samuel Adekugbe cross.

Peiser made another key save late in the match as Ottawa held their 2-0 lead to the delight of 9,057 fans at TD Place. It marked the first time Ottawa Fury FC faced – and beat – a club from the higher division in Major League Soccer.

“It was a fantastic occasion but for me the more important thing for Fury as a relatively new franchise (was the) 9,000-plus people here who all came and saw a local team beat an MLS team,” said Paul Dalglish, Head Coach of Ottawa Fury FC. “We have got to grow this game in this country and games like that are going to make people want to come back.”

Now in their third season, it was by far Ottawa’s biggest crowd in the Amway Canadian Championship. It was also their second win in three 2016 matches, not to mention their first ever at home in the competition.

Haworth was one of 11 Canadians that featured in the match, with Whitecaps FC captain Russell Teibert the first player to dress for a record six seasons in the Amway Canadian Championship. Those 11 Canadians have all grown up through Canada Soccer’s national youth program, including Whitecaps’ substitute Alphonso Davies who became the competition’s youngest player at age 15.

Jonny Steele and Cole Seiler were selected Stars of the Game for Ottawa and Vancouver, respectively. Steele’s Wednesday night screamer was the highlight of the night. Haworth had a pair of touches before he cut a pass with the outside of his foot to Steele at the top of the box; Steele then one-time his shot with precision past a diving Paolo Tornaghi.

On the second goal, an Onua Obasi cross from the left was headed towards target by a leaping Haworth. Tornaghi made a wonderful initial save, but the big rebound was buried home by Paulo Júnior.

The Amway Canadian Championship is Canada Soccer’s professional competition featuring clubs from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. The national champion lifts the Voyageurs Cup and wins Canada’s lone spot in CONCACAF Champions League on the road to the FIFA Club World Cup. In the 2016 semi finals, Ottawa Fury FC face Vancouver Whitecaps FC while Toronto FC face Impact Montréal FC.

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