Canada Soccer

Ottawa advances to 2019 Canadian Championship Semi-Final

Posted on 25 July 2019 in Canadian Championship

Ottawa Fury FC defeated HFX Wanderers FC 2:2 (5:4 agg) to advance to face Toronto FC in the 2019 Canadian Championship Semi-Final round. Ottawa will host the first leg at TD Place on 7 August before the return leg in Toronto on 14 August.

The second leg provided another enthralling match between Canadian Premier League’s HFX Wanderers and United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC. Played at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, ON, the 2:2 second leg draw favored the home team. In this second leg, Fury FC came back from two down to equalize.

Midway through the first half, Halifax began to take the game to Ottawa. After a pair of missed chances, Tomasz Skublak redeemed himself with a fantastic goal. Brilliantly taken down off his chest from a 30-yard pass, Skublak chipped defender Thomas Meilleur-Giguere with his right foot over to his left foot and slotted it home.

Still needing another goal, Halifax continued the pressure, looked the better side for much of the opening frame. They would get that second goal in the 43rd minute. From a Mohamed Kourama corner kick, Peter Schaale headed it into the path of Luis Alberto Perea. Perea took a touch and blasted it into the gaping net.

The lead on aggregate was brief, Fury responded immediately. It was in stoppage time that Onua Obasi’s neatly deflected header off a Carl Haworth free kick, beat keeper Jan-Michael Williams. Williams got his hands on it but couldn’t keep it out.

Ottawa carried this momentum into the second half. Looking for an insurance marker, it was one-way traffic toward the Wanderers goal. After a couple missed chances, it was the most dangerous player on the pitch that would bring the match level at two apiece.

Off of another Haworth cross, the ball bounced by Schaale, who had left it for his keeper. The miscue allowed just enough time for Francois to get a touch on it to lob it over Williams into the goal. Once again Williams had gotten his hands on it, but couldn’t stop it from going in.

From there on Halifax had little possession and did not threaten the Ottawa goal. Time of possession heavily favored the home side. Francois nearly got his second of the match in added time, but his breakaway chance rang off the post.

Ottawa Fury FC starting XI had Canadian Callum Irving in goal. In a 4-3-3 formation, Onua Obasi, alongside Canadians Nana Attakora, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere and captain Carl Haworth made up the backline from left to right. Thiago De Freitas, Charlie Ward and Canadian Chris Mannella in the midfield. Kevin Oliveira, Canadian Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, and Christiano Francois the forwards.

Ottawa coach Nikola Popovic used two of his substitutions at half time. De Freitas was replaced by Wal Fall and Attakora with Dakota Barnathan. The final substitution for Ottawa came in the 80th, captain Haworth was replaced by Canadian Jamar Dixon.

Halifax Wanderers Starting XI had captain Jan-Michael Williams in goal. The 4-2-3-1 formation included Canadians Alex De Carolis, Matthew Arnone along with Peter Schaale and Andre Bona from left to right in the back. Andre Rampersad and Canadian Chrisnovic N’sa the defensive midfielders. A trio of Canadians Zachary Sukunda, Tomasz Skublak and Mohamed Kourama made up the offensive midfield. The lone striker was Luis Alberto Perea.

Coach Stephen Hart made two substitutions. Sukunda was replaced by Juan Gutierrez (73’) and Perea with Kodai Iida (77’).

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