New England Soccer Today

Fury Defeat Phantoms, 2-0

While the Ottawa Fury have much to celebrate after their 2-0 win against the Seacoast United Phantoms on Saturday night, their opponents have to be disappointed with their current six game winless streak.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Phantoms. Among the favorites to win the Northeast Division after starting the season unbeaten in their first eight games (5-0-3), the Phantoms have gone cold at the worst possible time and are winless since June 16th, seeing their record plummet to 5-5-4 (19 points) and a drop in the standings from second to sixth place. Now, the Phantoms are out of the playoff hunt.

Ottawa (8-3-2, 26 points), meanwhile, sit in second place just two points behind the Northeast Division-leading GPS Portland Phoenix and three points above third-place Western Mass Pioneers  with a game in hand as the Canadian side looks to hold onto a playoff spot.

On Saturday, the Fury got the goals they needed and Nils Carlson kept to shutout to send 203 spectators home happy from the Algonquin College Soccer Complex in Ottawa.

(Highlights Courtesy Ottawa Fury)

The Fury got off to a strong start, taking the lead in just the 14th minute. Niall Crick chipped a pass into the box and Alex Rodriguez was there to send a looping over goalkeeper Travis Worra to put the Fury up 1-0. The goal was Rodriguez’s second of the year.

“It was a good match,” Crick, a native of Leith, Scotland, told Ottawa Fury TV after the match. “I think last week really helped us find our rhythm as a team and we carried that onto today. It was a really difficult game today because (Seacoast) is such a physical team, but I think we were able to play our game and it worked well – we got the result.”

Carlson then came up big, denying the Phantoms on several occasions with six saves on his way to the clean sheet.

Meanwhile frustrations began to boil over for the struggling Phantoms and head coach Iain Scott was soon ejected from the match for arguing a foul call by the referee.

Ottawa would double their lead early in the second half after a beautiful build-up started by Sandro Rajkovic. Rajkovic sent the ball to Rodriguez at the top of the box and continued his run, getting the ball back off a cheeky back heel from Rodriquez. Rajkovic then sent a pass back to Crick and continued his run into the box, where he’d get the ball back again. This time Rajkovic laid it off perfectly to Jose Bruno Motta who blasted it into the upper corner from inside the 18 for his first goal of the year, giving the Fury a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute.

Carlson did the rest from there, denying the Phantoms on several occasions before Seacoast suffered a blow when key player Dylan George went down injured in the 68th minute after the Phantoms had used their only two substitutes, leaving the team down a man the rest of the way.

With first place on the line, Ottawa face the Portland Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Algonquin College.

The Phantoms return to action on Thursday, July 12th, at Portsmouth High School, against the Phoenix at 7 p.m.

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