By Matt Feltz
Ottawa Fury forward William Beauge tucked home a stoppage-time winner to stun the Boston Victory 1-0 in Easton, Massachusetts. Beauge’s late strike cruelly downed the home team moments after the width of a post had denied Boston a late victory and kept the Fury atop the Northeast Division standings.
The sucker punch came immediately after the near miss from Victory captain Andrew Sousa at the other end of the field. Drew Beckie slid a perfect through ball to Beauge, who outpaced the Victory back line and tapped his shot past keeper Vinny Papageorgiou into the bottom corner.
Victory head coach Sergio Taborda applauded his players’ attitude, despite the late stunner.
“We deserved to get out of here with more than what we got today,” Taborda said. “I’m glad for the attitude. It’s a tough loss, they are the top of the league. We showed that we can play against the best teams, just the results are not happening.”
Neither side scored in a contentious first half filled with chances. Ten minutes in Beauge raced through on goal with just Papageorgiou to beat. Befitting a game against Canadian opposition, the Victory keeper denied Beauge with a hockey-style kick save. Victory midfielder Paul Latif showed nice touch to bring down an aerial pass and equally impressive skill to pick out Zico Veiga in space, but the striker’s quick shot narrowly missed to the right of the post.
The combination of Beckie and Beauge also bothered the Victory defense in the first half. Beckie’s low shot from the right side of the box prompted another kick save from Papageorgiou in the 13th minute. On the quarter-hour mark, Beauge looked to be played through on goal, but defender Matt Keys used his size to full advantage in blocking the shot with a long leg.
At the other end of the field, Veiga continued to threaten the Fury goal, with two more excellent chances in short succession. Pat Hamilton, allowed to get forward in a wingback role, raced down the right flank and hit Veiga with a cross right in front of Nils Carlson’s goal. Veiga’s diving header was again just wide. Then Latif connected with Veiga again, his centering pass prompting a whirling left-footed effort from the Cape Verdean, which sailed just over the bar.
The Fury nearly scored seconds before halftime, as Niall Crick found Carlo Basso alone in front of goal for a header. The Fury forward directed it straight at Papageorgiou, who palmed it wide of the goal. Basso had a similar free header eight minutes into the second half, but Papageorgiou was not called into action, as the Fury forward directed the ball just over the crossbar.
The Victory dominated the final 10 minutes, starting with the hard-working Hamilton’s pursuit of a loose ball that seemed to have Carlson rooted to his spot in front of the Fury net. Hamilton just managed to stick a toe on the ball, but could only poke it wide. With two minutes remaining in regulation, Sousa’s corner was cleared to Russell Oost-Lievense at the edge of the box. The midfielder opted to for a first-time shot, which was well high and wide.
But the best chance for the Victory came right before the heartbreaker from Beauge. Ruben Resendes freed himself along the left sideline and wowed the Fury defense with a series of stepovers before teeing up Sousa from 25 yards. The Victory captain let fly with a perfectly struck effort that took a deflection and still nearly curled past Carlson at the near post. Instead of finding the net, the ball hit the woodwork and went out, setting the stage for Beauge’s heroics at the other end.
The Victory (2-6-1) return to their familiar home in Quincy next Saturday to take on GPS Portland Phoenix at Veterans Memorial Stadium, kickoff 7:00 pm. The two clubs have yet to cross paths this season.
Boston: Papageorgiou; Hamilton, Keys, Campbell, DeMello, Sidibe; Resendes, Oost-Lievense, Latif (Assaf 65); Sousa, Z.Veiga (Vieira 72)
Ottawa: Carlson; Castro, DiBiase, Manginas, Rajkovic; Beckie, Campbell (Rodriguez 85), Crick, Beattie; Basso (Murphy 82), Beauge