Louisville City FC and the Ottawa Fury played to a 1-1 draw at TD Place Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
George Davis IV gave the visitors the lead, working around Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving for a simple finish, Nick DePuy equalized 12 minutes later to take a point from the Eastern Conference leaders.
The boys in purple failed to match Western Conference leader Real Monarch’s point total yet still extended their lead in the Eastern Conference. With Charlotte falling to Tampa Bay on Saturday, City’s lead is now a very comfortable seven points with four matches to go.
Playing the second match in seven days, City head coach James O’Connor rotated much of the starting XI. Fluidity in ball movement, or lack thereof, was clear as Paolo DelPiccolo, Kyle Smith and Oscar Jimenez, three key players in the City offense, started from the bench.
As a result, Ottawa was able to dominate the possession for much of the game. Ottawa coach Julian De Guzman installed a possession-based style since taking over, and it was evident. The Fury held a 62-38 possession advantage and ultimately limited City’s chances. Shots came at a premium with the first half totaling six shots, 4-2 in favor of Ottawa.
Luke Spencer, however, had the best chance to open the scoring in the 36th minute. The Ohio native collected the ball at midfield and made a 40-yard sprint into the box. He shook both trailing Ottawa defenders and fired with his left foot, but directly at Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving.
The boys in purple struck first in the 56th minute via good build play which ended with a beautiful touch-and-finish from George Davis IV. City worked their way up field, and Speedy Williams found Davis making his way into the box. Davis worked around Irving with his first touch and passed the ball into the net to score in consecutive games.
Nick DePuy equalized 12 minutes later, burying a rebound for his first goal of the season. It started with Jonathan Barden getting his marker and drawing in another defender. His pass found an open Carl Haworth, who fired on goal. Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made the initial save, but DePuy was there to knock in the rebound.
Both teams traded late chances to steal three points, but Davis went wide in the 89th minute, and Sito Seoane hit the crossbar in stoppage time.
Louisville stays in Canada for their next match against Toronto II on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Kickoff for that match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.