Ed­dies out of Cana­dian ti­tle mix

Ottawa Fury edge FC Ed­mon­ton on ag­gre­gate in se­ries

Edmonton Journal - - SPORTS - JA­SON HILLS hill­sy­jay@gmail.com Twit­ter: @hill­sy­jay

It would be com­pletely un­der­stand­able if FC Ed­mon­ton head coach Colin Miller had a few more grey hairs af­ter his team’s ef­fort against the Ottawa Fury.

There were a lot of pos­i­tives, but the mis­takes they made were cat­a­strophic and came back to bite them in a big way in a 3-2 loss Wed­nes­day night at Clarke Park.

When you’re a goal-starved team like the Ed­dies, you sim­ply can’t af­ford to make the mis­takes that FC Ed­mon­ton made against Ottawa.

The Ed­dies lost the two-game se­ries 4-2 on ag­gre­gate and missed out on an op­por­tu­nity to play Toronto FC in the Cana­dian Cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal later this month.

Stee­van Dos San­tos scored twice, in­clud­ing a penalty kick in the 22nd minute and the game-win­ner in ex­tra time, while Sito Seaone scored in the game’s open­ing minute for Ottawa.

Jake Kee­gan and Sainey Nyassi scored the goals for the Ed­dies, who bat­tled back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits only to lose again in the 90th minute.

“I’m very dis­ap­pointed. Es­pe­cially the way we started. You shoot your­self in the foot giv­ing up a goal in the open­ing minute. It’s the away goal that you dread giv­ing away,” said Miller.

The Ed­dies needed ei­ther a clean slate or two-goal vic­tory and af­ter giv­ing up a goal in the 90th minute in the se­ries opener last week in a 1-0 loss. FC Ed­mon­ton made it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult on it­self af­ter giv­ing up a goal in the open­ing minute to Seaone.

Seaone pres­sured Alan Ze­bie to cough up the ball at the top of the box and Seaone walked in to beat Ed­dies goal­keeper Tyson Farago who was hung out to dry.

“The guys were in a bit of a shock on the open­ing goal,” said Miller.

“It came from some­thing we spoke about. We wanted the ball played in­side and it’s one of those things where we cough it up and they get an easy goal out of it.”

The Fury were look­ing for the kill shot and put all kinds of pres­sure on the Ed­dies. In the sev­enth minute, Seaone just missed scor­ing his sec­ond of the game, but his shot clanked off the cross bar.

In the 14th minute, Ryan Wil­liams, who scored the gamewin­ner in the se­ries opener, had a glo­ri­ous chance on a free kick. His shot had eyes for the top cor­ner, but Farago was able to get his fin­ger­tips on the ball.

The Ed­dies tied it at 1-1 on Kee­gan’s first goal of the sea­son in the 35th minute, but any mo­men­tum Ed­mon­ton could muster from the goal was short-lived as just one minute later Ottawa re­claimed the lead on Dos San­tos’ penalty kick.

“We give an­other soft goal on a penalty de­ci­sion. Whether it’s ball to hand or hand to ball … I haven’t seen the re­play, but you give those two goals away at any level, you’re chas­ing the game,” said Miller.

The Ed­dies knew they would be in tough to mount any sort of come­back, but they cer­tainly played their hearts outs in the sec­ond half.

They tied the game in the 60th minute on Nyassi’s goal that was set up on a per­fect pass from Nik Ledger­wood.

But an­other costly er­ror just five min­utes later led to a red card on Ed­dies de­fender Ab­doulaye Di­akite forc­ing FC Ed­mon­ton to play a man down the rest of the game.

“I’m very proud of the play­ers in the sec­ond half. I told them to try and win the sec­ond half and see where the cards would fall,” said Miller.

“We played well when were down to 10 men. We only gave up one or two chances, but it was in­evitable that they would get that last one. ”

The loss was a tough one for FC Ed­mon­ton. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has only ad­vanced to the semi­fi­nal round twice in the history of their fran­chise and they missed a golden op­por­tu­nity to play a se­ries against Toronto FC, which would’ve been a big mo­ment in fran­chise history.

GREG SOUTHAM

Ottawa Fury FC’s Sito Seaone scores on FC Ed­mon­ton’s Tyson Farago dur­ing their Cana­dian Cham­pi­onship quar­ter­fi­nal match Wed­nes­day in Ed­mon­ton. Ottawa won 3-2 to beat the Ed­dies 4-2 on ag­gre­gate.

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