Neither second division side could find the back of the net in Wednesday's Canadian Championship opener.Anyone who was waiting for the first goal of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship will have to be a bit more patient after the Ottawa Fury and FC Edmonton played to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night in the first leg of the preliminary round.
In a blustery Keith Harris Stadium, the two North American Soccer League sides battled both the conditions and each other as neither team could break the deadlock. A fast, hard artificial surface combined with some physical play to create a chippy game that saw both sides struggle to create chances.
Edmonton probably had the better of the play on the night, but the home team had a few half-chances of its own that probably would have been more dangerous under different conditions. Six yellow cards were shown by referee Geoff Gamble, although he probably could have handed out more discipline in the second half alone as players increasingly took out their frustrations on each other.
While the match seemed destined to end scoreless, Edmonton very nearly stole the result deep into stoppage time as striker Frank Jonke was denied by Fury goalkeeper Devala Gorrick. Jonke's point-blank shot from 10 yards out was met by the onrushing Gorrick, whose quick reflexes kept the Eddies from scoring a vital away goal.
The second leg is set for Apr. 30 at Edmonton's Clarke Stadium, with the winner advancing to the semifinal round to meet reigning Voyageurs Cup champion Montreal Impact.