Soccer News: Ottawa Fury FC 1, Indy Eleven 2
Indy Eleven continued to close out its 2014 inaugural season strong against its expansion brother Ottawa Fury FC, moving its winning streak to three games via a 2-1 road victory at TD Place in Ontario.
An opportunistic first half goal by forward Jhulliam looked like it would be the difference maker for Indy Eleven, but a late insurance tally by midfielder Victor Pineda proved pivotal for the visitors after Ottawa scored immediately afterwards through forward Oliver.
The win also gave Indy Eleven (6-7-4, 22 pts. in Fall Season; 6-12-6, 26 pts. overall) a season-high four game undefeated streak (3-0-1) as it heads into next Saturday’s season finale at the Tampa Bay Rowdies (5-8-4, 19 pts. in Fall; 7-11-8, 29 pts. overall), who the Indiana side can catch in the NASL 2014 overall standings with another win to close out the season.
Attacking was at a premium in a tightly played affair, especially in the first half, which saw Indy Eleven face little resistance in stretching its shutout streak to an eventual 391 minutes in length leading into the dying moments of the match.
Indy Eleven would enjoy the more dangerous of the chances as the half went on, but it was an Ottawa miscue that led to Jhulliam’s opener in the 29th minute. The Brazilian striker would pick off a slowly-played back pass by Ottawa defender Ryan Richter towards goalkeeper Romuald Peiser before rounding the Fury FC backstop and slotting the ball just inside the left post and into an empty net. The tally was Jhulliam’s second since joining the squad in August and marked the third straight contest in which Indy jumped out to a 1-0 advantage.
Indy Eleven was more than content to absorb pressure and go on the counter during the second half, which proved quite effective and forced goalkeeper Kristian Nicht into just one save, a one-handed pawing of Ottawa forward Tom Heinemann‘s close range effort in the 89th minute. One of those counters would come seconds after Nicht’s big stop and ended with Pineda’s third tally of the season, as he nodded home Don Smart‘s short cross to the near post to double the Indy lead late. That was fortunate for the visitors, who conceded on the ensuing foray up-field by Ottawa, Oliver delivering on a header of his own to keep things interesting in the waning moments.
Stoppage time saw a player from each side ejected for unsporting behavior, as Ottawa midfielder Richie Ryan was shown a red card for shoving Pineda after taking offense to his sliding tackle, while Indy Eleven’s Sergio Pena saw red for retaliating against the Ottawa captain with a push of his own. That means Pena will miss Indy Eleven’s 2014 season finale next Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, which will kick off at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL., at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“It’s a really meaningful three points for us. There’s a good rivalry between us. Obviously they’ve taken points from us, and they’ve scored six goals against us. They’re well-coached and well-organized, but today we worked hard and I’m really proud of the group. That being said – great stadium, great fans – our two clubs are both top class in the NASL and have bright futures.” said Juergen Sommer, Indy Eleven Head Coach.
“We weren’t good in the first half, and after that first half we had to catch up. The home team should never have to catch up in a game. It was disappointing. The last 180 minutes – maybe it was the fact that we got knocked out of the playoffs – have made me question whether or not some of our players are ready to be professionals in a league like the NASL.” said Marc Dos Santos, Ottawa Fury Head Coach.