Ottawa undone by Edmonton's touch of class

I connected my tele to the internet. I sat in my favourite recliner. I even had my pie and chips. But what I didn't have on Tuesday night was a stream of the second leg. Instead, I and countless others got to see an episode of Modern Family.

Turning to the internet, I sought out a radio broadcast, and decided to see what twitter had to say on the matter. Much of what I read couldn't be repeated here. This is a family site after all.

But in the absence of the first half, my mind wandered. I thought about what the first round might hold for either of these clubs. Namely, the reigning Champion Montreal Impact, who look anything but. They are currently wallowing at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference, good enough for 18th place in a 19-club league. Only the Portland Timbers have gotten off to a worse start.

As I continued to play around with the thought of Montreal and Edmonton, I remembered an old folk song by the Montreal comedy duo Bowser and Blue. It was called "Oh, Alberta!" and told the story of former Leader of the Opposition Preston Manning.

With nothing else to do until the feed kicked in, I began to write a parody of the song. Here's what I came up with:

 

"FC Edmonton, we've traded in the black, we'll host the Montreal Impact. FC Edmonton, home of the Rally Rabbit.

On Tuesday night, it was quite a sight, there on the Breakfast Television stream. Modern Family was on, the first half was gone, but online, we all blamed Soccer Canada.

No more wishing, we've bested an opposition, now it's finally come to pass. And if you don't agree, you can take your fleurs-de-lis, and shove it up your allocation money.

FC Edmonton, Rally Rabbit's just another critter they discovered at Drumheller. FC Edmonton, home of the Rally Rabbit. 

We've got a great new look, and a four hour flight to book, thanks to that wonderful Scot named Colin. 

Yes, we're conservative out here, our women wear brassieres, heck, Colin's even wearing a kilt himself.

Those Easterners, with their messrs and their liquors, think he's a frump, and a chump. But he's got just one word for Joey Saputo and his herd, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

FC Edmonton, we're tough on mimes, they'll do Rocky Mountain Time. FC Edmonton, your goals made me warm, when you showed stunning form.

FC Edmonton, home of the Rally Rabbit."

 
 John Smits punches the ball away while under pressure from Mason Trafford.

John Smits punches the ball away while under pressure from Mason Trafford.

As the match progressed, I did get to follow the stats, and the most glaring of all was the possession. Ottawa Fury FC had the ball 60% of the time. But as I've always said, it doesn't matter how much you have the ball, it's what you do with it that counts.

In the 30th minute, Albert Watson delivered a long ball just to the left of the box. Ottawa's Omar Jarun and Drew Beckie got there first, but Frank Jonke wanted it more. He got the ball to 17-year old Hanson Boakai, who incidentally graduates high school on Friday. The second year pro threaded a perfect pass in front of goal, which was expertly converted by Daryl Fordyce after he timed his run to perfection.

You may be wondering how I know this? As much as I'd like to say I found a stream of the first half, it was of course in the highlights package uploaded to youtube by CanadaSoccerTV.

Three minutes after the break, Ottawa Captain Richie Ryan had something to be furious about, as his pass back to Jarun was short, and Jarun lost the ball to Boakai. The young speedster stole the ball, left Jarun tumbling, and ran into open space. Ottawa goalkeeper Devala Gorrick made the first save, but Boakai chased down the rebound and knocked it in from a truly impressive angle. A little left and he would have put it wide, the same to the right and Mason Trafford would have been able to deflect it.

 Ritchie Jones and Oliver at Clarke Stadium on 30 April 2014.

Ritchie Jones and Oliver at Clarke Stadium on 30 April 2014.

As the match entered the final third, Neil Hlavaty delivered the ball to Boakai, who forced Jarun to backtrack, blocking his own run, but neatly opening up a passing lane to Daryl Fordyce, who banged home his second of the game. With Edmonton up by three, and only 28 minutes to play, there was only ever going to be one winner.

To the credit of the Fury, they did not give up. Perhaps they're just too young and inexperienced to know better, or perhaps they had the genuine drive to press on in the face of adversity. Whatever the reason, they pressed, they forced Edmonton into a defensive posture, sending balls into the stands, giving up corner kicks, and making the final minutes nervier than the score line would suggest.

As stoppage time approached, the Fury strung together four passes, which culminated in their first goal, a low shot into the corner by Vini Dantas.

With Ottawa's Tom Heinemann and Edmonton's Gagan Dosanjh injured, Philippe Davies was the only ex-Whitecap to take part in the match. He started the match, but with the Fury already trailing by two, he was sacrificed for eventual goal scorer Vini Dantas. Andrés Fresenga, who had a cup of coffee with the Caps last year, was an unused sub.

Edmonton host Fort Lauderdale Strikers FC on Saturday, before facing the Montreal Impact on Wednesday night, while Ottawa visit Atlanta Silverbacks FC on Saturday.