Ocean City vs Ottawa Fury clash for the right to reach national finals
The Ocean City Nor’easters booked their ticket to the 2013 USL PDL Eastern Conference Final by beating a tough Carolina Dynamo team 5-3 in a penalty shootout after a tense and action packed 0-0 tie. Ocean City Nor’easters vs Ottawa Fury will be played at Carey Stadium on Sunday July 28th, 7pm kick off.
Earlier in the day Reading United took on Ottawa Fury in the first of the two semi finals at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex. Reading United twice gave the lead away before finally losing 3-2 to the Canadian outfit. Reading United took the lead through Dacrees in the 16th minute before Ottawa’s Jones after 27 minutes. Pinto scored for Reading on the 71st minute assisted by Steven Neuman but it only took the Fury 4 minutes of play to equalize through Haworth on 75 minutes and again after 86 minutes to win the game.
The Ocean City Nor’easters started strongly against the Carolina Dynamo with both teams playing at a frantic pace. Clear cut chances were few and far between with Dwayne Reid being pulled back just offside and Dynamo flashing a shot past O’Keeffe in the Nor’easters net. The Nor’easters found a lot of joy down the left hand side with the longest serving player Kevin Curran bombing on from left back and delivering some trademark quality crosses.
It got to half time at 0-0 with both teams knowing that a mistake or a piece of magic would settle the game in regular time.
The second half begun in much the same way as the first half with half chances being made for both teams as the tenseness increased with both teams understanding how close they were to the Final. The game completely changed as a contest after Nor’easters defender Richardo Israel was sent off in controversial circumstances. To the Nor’easters supporters it looked like the referee waved off a foul but over a minute later once the ball had gone out of play he conferred with his assistant and went back to send Israel off and give Dynamo a free kick. However, even after going down to 10 men it was the Nor’easters who looked the more dangerous through Reid and the tricky Emmauel Kollie. With both teams tiring and a last few chances going without glory the game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and headed into extra time.
Extra time had a slower, more tired feel to it but the work rate from all of the boys on the field was second to none. Both teams gave their all but the clock kept ticking towards the dreaded penalty shootout. Before the penalties would be taken there was another added piece of drama. Martinez of the Dynamo had been substituted earlier in the game but after appealing for a penalty too vociferously the same assistant referee again called over the referee and again he produced a red card for the player on the Dynamo bench.
The sun was setting in Ocean City, NJ and this gave an amazing background for the most dramatic of scenarios. The Nor’easters went first and top goal scorer Dwayne Reid stepped up to score and put the pressure onto the Dynamo, Carolina’s Ali and Ilhan scored as did Nor’easters skipper Curran and Tribbett before the Dynamo’s Fender had his well struck penalty saved low to O’Keeffe’s left. Zoncher Dennis scored for OC to make it 4-2. Dynamo’s Smith scored to keep them in the contest but then Kollie stepped up for Ocean City to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and send the Nor’easters into the USL PDL Eastern Conference Final at Carey Stadium at 7pm on Sunday 28th July.