Eddies out of Canadian title mix
Ottawa Fury edge FC Edmonton on aggregate in series
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.
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.