NASL: Fury FC Win Home Opener, First Win Of The Season

OTTAWA, ON – Ottawa Fury FC closed out April with a big win Saturday, dropping Miami FC 2-0 in front of soccer-hungry crowd of 7,023 at TD Place.

After four games on the road to kick of the NASL’s Spring Season, it was indeed Home Sweet Home for Fury FC as defender Fernando Timbo scored the winning goal – his first in Fury colours – in front of the biggest regular season crowd since Ottawa’s first-ever home opener in 2014. Forward Dennis Chin, also with his first goal for the club, provide some insurance during second-half stoppage time when he blasted a shot into the far top corner of the Miami goal.

The final whistle sounded moments later.

“When we had to defend, we defended brilliantly and obviously when we scored the first goal we allowed ourselves the opportunity to sit back and control the game a little bit,” said Fury coach Paul Dalglish.  “I think we looked really, really dangerous on the break – I was really pleased we got that second one at the end because I think we thoroughly deserved more than a one-goal margin.”
In front of an energetic crowd, Dalglish said the only option for his squad was a victory.

“I think the players wanted to win at all costs today and they managed to do that,” Dalglish said.

It was a huge three points for the home side in Fury’s first game at home since last season’s impressive run to the NASL Championship final and, despite an early push from Miami, Fury controlled the pace for much of this one.

After some good pressure in the opening minutes from the visitors that forced Ottawa to come up big defensively a couple times, Fury found its rhythm and took control of the game after a goal that didn’t even count.

Vered tapped in a low-whipped cross early in the first half, though the play was called back on a tight offside. But the play got the fans on their feet and Fury continued to feed off that momentum, which paid off for real in the 25th minute as Fernando Timbo gave Ottawa the lead with his first goal of the year. Timbo poked a low shot past Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega off well-placed free kick from midfielder James Bailey after the ball deflected a few times before falling at the feet of the Brazilian defender.

It was all Fury for the remainder of the second half and Ottawa likely could have extended its 1-0 lead were it not for a couple big saves by Vega. His best came a few minutes after the goal when Carl Haworth floated a ball into the box that was redirected towards the top of the net by Paulo Junior. What looked to be a sure goal was poked up and over the crossbar by Vega at the last minute, keeping the game close.
Chin, who came on in place of Vered in the second half, was named Man of the Match following his highlight reel goal.

“We tweaked some things during the week, and it showed today,” said Chin. “Now we not only got a clean sheet, we got some goals and got the win.”

Chin was thrilled to get his first goal, but the win was the most important thing, he said.

“It felt great to score, I needed that,” he said. “With all the fans here and how the energy was, we needed to give them something to go home happy with.”

Miami mustered a few chances of its own in the half and came closest to opening the scoring in the 15th minute when a deflected shot looped up and over Fury keeper Romuald Peiser but was deflected out of harm’s way by defender Rich Balchan.

Fury FC will be back on the TD Place pitch next Saturday, May 7, when Ottawa hosts Minnesota United FC for the first time since Fury defeated the Loons in last year’s NASL Championship semi-final.