OTTAWA — Ryan Williams and Sito Seoane scored second-half goals as the Ottawa Fury scored a 2-1 win Tuesday in their first-ever meeting with Toronto FC in the first leg of the semifinal for the Voyageurs Cup, Canada’s soccer club championship.
The second leg will be played at Toronto’s BMO Field on May 31 with the winner moving on to the Canadian championship against the winner of the other semifinal between the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps.
After falling behind 1-0 on a goal from Benoit Cheyrou, the Fury started the second half much better than the first and as a result of their tenacity got a free kick in the 57th minute following a hand ball by Toronto FC.
Williams took the kick and while TFC ‘keeper Clint Irwin dove to his right, Williams placed his shot into the corner of the goal to Irwin’s left.
Irwin once again dove to his right in the 64th minute but this time was able to knock away a shot from Ottawa forward Seoane, who looked destined to give the Fury the lead.
That lead did come in the 72nd minute as Seoane dove around a TFC defender during a massive scramble and hooked a shot past Irwin for a 2-1 advantage.
After advancing past the opening round for a second consecutive year by defeating NASL side FC Edmonton, the Fury of the United Soccer League were unable to match the calibre of pace set by the MLS team from Toronto early on.
Toronto FC tops the Eastern Conference in MLS play with seven wins and five draws in 13 games while Ottawa sits 11th in the USL Eastern Conference standings with a 2-3-3 record.
In opening their defence of the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian champions, Toronto FC had no less than five regular starters on the bench to start the game Tuesday, including midfielder Michael Bradley who has started all 13 of TFC’s games this season.
In addition, Mitch Taintor, who captains TFC II in the United Soccer League, was called up and started for the top club Tuesday.
That didn’t seem to matter to the five-time Canadian champions has they had nearly 70 per cent of the possession time in the opening half and directed four shots towards the Fury goal.
In the 35th minute Cheyrou split a pair of Fury defenders just inside the penalty box and opened the scoring as he beat Callum Irving in the Ottawa goal for a 1-0 TFC lead.
That changed in the second half though as the field seemed to tilt in favour of the Fury