Indy Eleven walked away with a point on the road following an early afternoon draw against Ottawa Fury FC, 0-0. The honors are split after a stellar three save, three punch performance by Eleven goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams kept the “Boys in Blue” from trailing.
“It was a game where we played well. We possessed the ball well and dominated long spells of the game,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “Overall, it was a good point. It keeps us on a good run.”
“Indiana's Team” dominated possession and found three chances in the first half. Eleven forward Elliot got the first look at goal seven minutes into his first starting XI appearance. The New Zealand native took his chance outside the six-yard box after the ball was flicked in place by midfielder Seth Moses, but deflected away by Fury defender David Edgar.
“I think it was difficult for a forward today because there really wasn’t very much space,” Renie said. “Ottawa defended very tight and didn’t gift too many opportunities for us to get on the ball and create things. Overall, Elliot did very well for this first game for the team.”
Moses had the next opportunity at goal after a driven pass by Indy midfielder Zach Steinberger set up the shot about 12 yards out. The 25-year-old midfielder took a one-touch shot that ended over the crossbar. Moses came back with another chance in the 42nd minute from distance, but the shot ultimately ended wide of the left post.
Ottawa retaliated with two chances in the first half. In the 25th minute, Fury forward Tony Taylor passed the ball back to the top of Indy's 18-yard box after mounting pressure from multiple Eleven defenders. Striking partner Steeven Dos Santos was on the receiving end, following up with a one-touch shot on target. Fon Williams tallied his first of three saves with a dive towards the right post, inching the shot wide of the post. Nine minutes later, Dos Santos nodded down a cross towards the top of the six-yard box. A bounce placed the ball level for Taylor to head the ball towards the back of the net. Quick reflexes from Fon Williams knocked the shot over goal.
The “Boys in Blue” nearly found two chances in the second half by way of forward Soony Saad, but was bested by the woodwork on each attempt. In the 52nd minute, Saad brought down a high cross by defender Karl Ouimette inside Fury's penalty box. A quick dance around two Fury defenders opened up a shot for Saad, rebounding off the crossbar. Collier fed a short pass to Saad to the left edge of the box in 76th minute for another one-touch shot. Saad's attempt sped across the box, slamming off the far post and back up the pitch.
Ottawa had two more strong looks at goal in the second half. The first shot came in the 60th minute after the Fury were awarded a penalty kick. Dos Santos stepped up for the shot, sending the ball away from goal after hitting the left post. In the dying minutes of stoppage time, Fury captain Carl Haworth scrambled a pass to substitute midfielder Kevin Oliveira on the wing. Oliveira struck from outside the six-yard box for Fon Williams to force upwards and out of bounds.
Coach Rennie continues to be impressed with Fon Williams after the Welsh international recorded his ninth clean sheet this season.
“I was looking for an experienced goalkeeper who could organize the game well, who could deal well on crosses and make big saves when we needed them,” said Rennie. “I think he’s done well beyond the expectations we were hoping to meet.”
The draw places Indy in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with points separating the Circle City squad from dropping out of a playoff position.
“The league’s very tight,” said Rennie. “You spend a lot of time watching the table and it’s probably not going to really help you that much. We’re in a good position to catch the team’s above us. It’s important that you keep focusing on what we’re doing, keep playing well, keep picking up points, keep picking up wins and we’ll keep rising up the table.”
The “Boys in Blue” return to home turf once again to face Toronto FC II this Wednesday, August 22, at 7:00 p.m.. Fans can get tickets to the midweek fixture by visiting IndyEleven.com/Tickets or by calling (317)685-1100.
USL Regular Season
Indy Eleven 0:0 Ottawa Fury FC
Saturday, August 18, 2018 – 2:00 p.m.
TD Place Stadium – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
IND – Ayoze (Yellow card) 85'
Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L-->R): Owain Fôn Williams (GK); Reiner Ferreira, Carlyle Mitchell, Ayoze, Karl Ouimette; Juan Guerra (Matt Watson 75'), Brad Ring (C), Zach Steinberger (Ben Speas 75'); Elliot Collier (Jack McInerney 81'), Seth Moses, Soony Saad
Indy Eleven bench: Ben Lundgaard (GK); Brad Rusin, Nico Matern, Nathan Lewis, Ben Speas, Matt Watson, Jack McInerney
Ottawa Fury FC lineup (3-4-2, L-->R): Maxime Crepeau (GK); Onua Obasi, David Edgar, Thomas Meilleur; Daniel Kinumbe (Daniel Haber 80'), Jeremy Lapare, Christian Portilla, Jamar Dixon (Chris Mannella 75'), Carl Haworth; Steevan Dos Santos, Tony Taylor (Kevin Oliveira 46')
Ottawa Fury FC bench: David Monsalve (GK); Clement Bayiha, Kevin Oliveira, Sergio Manesio, Chris Mannella, Daniel Haber, Adonija Reid