NASHVILLE – Nashville SC controlled the run of play in the first half, ceding possession to Ottawa but making it count when they did have the ball. Although NSC had just 41/9% possession, repeated runs in behind the Fury defense saw them take nine shots inside the offensive penalty area to just three for Ottawa.
If not for a strong performance from Fury keeper Callum Irving – with a couple assists from the woodwork – Nashville SC would be dominating the scoreboard going into half. However, Fury captain Carl Haworth buried a free kick from the top of the box in the 45th minute to answer Daniel Ríos’s ninth-minute opener, and the sides are deadlocked with 45 to play.
Nashville SC’s ability to get space behind the Ottawa backline paid off early, with Lebo Moloto squaring a pass across the top of the six-yard box for Ríos to knock home.
Nashville would continue to find those balls over the top, but couldn’t beat Irving, who has three impressive saves through the first half of play. He also was bailed out by the crossbar and right goalpost on back-to-back shots from Ropapa Mensah. Mensah’s header from a Lebo Moloto cornerkick ricocheted right back to him off the woodwork, but his rebound managed to find the frame once more.
Ottawa’s advantage in possession would eventually pay off when midfielder Wal Fall was dispossessed by Nashville defender Liam Doyle at the top of the box – but Doyle ended up getting too much body, drawing a foul call. Longtime Fury captain Carl Haworth wrapped his foot around the ball and curled it into the bottom corner of the net to level proceedings.
Nashville will likely be able to find a winner if the second half progresses the same way the first did – the Boys in Gold had the vast majority of the good scoring chances – but nonetheless will be disappointed to not be holding an advantage at the break.
- 9′ NSH GOAL – 9 Daniel Ríos (right foot), assisted by 10 Lebo Moloto
- 28′ OTT Substitution – On 26 Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Off 4 Nana Attakora
- 37′ OTT Yellow card – 6 Chris Mannella (foul)
- 40′ OTT Yellow card – 11 Elhadji Mour Samb (foul)
- 45′ OTT GOAL – 9 Carl Haworth (right-footed free kick, foul earned by 5 Wal Fall)
- 45’+3 Half time