Action from the Amway Canadian Championship game between the Ottawa Fury and visiting FC Edmonton (right) on April 23, 2014. (Photo: Steve Kingsman)
OTTAWA – The seventh Amway Canadian Championship opened Wednesday with a 0-0 draw between the Ottawa Fury FC and visiting FC Edmonton in the first leg of their preliminary round series at Keith Harris Stadium.
Ottawa made its debut in the competition, which crowns a national champion and qualifies a team to the CONCACAF Champions League.
In a match played at a feverish pace between two North American Soccer League sides, the host had the first scoring chance in the seventh minute, when a Philippe Davies header forced Edmonton goalkeeper John Smits into a save.
The active Davies came close again in the 27th minute, shooting just high off a volley.
FC Edmonton’s Darryl Fordyce nearly broke the deadlock four minutes later, but his curling right-footed effort was stopped by Fury goalkeeper Devala Gorrick.
Shortly after the break, Ottawa went on the attack as left-back Maykon sent a header just wide of the Edmonton net.
Gorrick came up big again at the hour mark, thwarting an attempt from Michael Nonni,
In the 67th minute, a scramble in the Edmonton box saw Mason Trafford miss narrowly.
With five minutes left in normal time, Drew Beckie made a game-saving tackle on FC Edmonton substitute Frank Jonke, who looked to have a clear route to the net.
Deep into stoppage time, Jonke uncorked a shot that pressed Gorrick into the save of the match to preserve the draw.
Ottawa will travel to Edmonton for the second leg next Wednesday at Clarke Stadium.