Ottawa Fury FC came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Syracuse University Saturday night at the Complexe Branchaud-Briere in Gatineau. It was a busy day for Fury FC players who earlier modeled the home and away kits that were launched at Tailgators. Tom Heinemann and Pierre-Rudolph Mayard tallied for Ottawa who remain undefeated in pre-season action (1-0-2).
Sinisa Ubiparipovic threatened early and often for Fury FC throughout the first half with some timely runs and slick touches on the ball. The former Montreal Impact midfielder had the first chance of the game walking in off the goal line, but was denied by Alex Bono in the Syracuse goal.
Phil Davies would be on the receiving end of some of Ubiparipovic's hardwork, but would see his volley miss over the bar. Ottawa would continue to generate chances with possession through the midfield and Nicki Paterson fancied his chances from distance, but was denied by a diving save from Bono.
After a pair of Fury FC corners, the Syracuse threatened on a counter attack, but Chris Nanco fired over the bar. The counter attacked proved to be Syracuse's mode of offence and would be rewarded on another chances in the 16th minute as Emil Ekblom converted the cross to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
Ottawa would respond immediately following the goal with continued pressure as Ubiparipovic, Ryan and Paterson owned possession of the midfielder. After a foul on the wide side, Richie Ryan's cross eluded everybody on both sides, but was denied by the post. The lose ball would produce another opportunity again denied by the woodwork and Tom Heinemann was unable to convert the rebound.
Shortly after a Carl Haworth chance, Ottawa's continued pressure paid off as Ubiparipovic's nifty footwork made space for Philippe Davies whose cross was met with a powerful header from Tom Heinemann to pull the game level at 1-1.
The Fury FC lead would be short lived as Syracuse were awarded a corner that was converted by Ekblom in the 43rd minute following a series of defensive lapses by Ottawa in front of goal. Syracuse would take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
Ottawa came out the more energetic of the two sides to start the second half with plenty of pressure in the early going. Nicki Paterson looked to lead the charge offensively with an attempt for 20 yards, but missed just wide of the top corner. Syracuse again proved dangerous on the counter, but Devala Gorrick was equal to the challenge.
Head Coach Marc Dos Santos would begin to go to his bench and his substitutes did not disappoint. Not long after Pierre-Rudolph Mayard was introduced to the came the former Montreal Impact forward converted a Nicki Paterson corner to pull the game level at 2-2 much to the delight of the near capacity crowd at the Complexe Branchaud-Briere in Gatineau. Carl Haworth and Tony Donatelli would also have chances following the equalizer, but were denied by Bono in the Syracuse goal who saw close to 20 shots come his way.
One of Marc Dos Santos' final substitutes on the evening was recently signed trialist and Ottawa native Kenny Caceros. It was a fitting moment for Caceros who was facing his former alma mater.
Cooler heads would prevail as the game wore on and the two sides played to an entertaining 2-2 draw to close out Ottawa's pre-season schedule on Canadian soil. Fury FC players and staff depart for Sunrise, Florida Monday morning to continue training camp ahead of their season opener against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on April 12.