It was a 0-0 draw for Oakland Roots on Wednesday against Phoenix Rising despite controlling the action for a large part of the game. Roots productively held 60 percent of possession time and reeled off 17 shots with seven on target, but they couldn’t find the finishing touch. Assistant coach Marcos Reina, filling in for Juan Guerra on red-card suspension, felt Oakland had their chances.
“I think it was a disputed game, I think we had our chances, maybe we could be more precise in the last meters of the attacking third, because the team did a good job,” said Reina following the tie.
Roots were frequently bombing down the flanks with Edgardo Rito, Juan Carlos Azocar, while Mikael Johnsen had his looks in space as well. Reina mentioned that they switched the defensive system in order to press Phoenix high to create turnovers and push the ball.
“We prepare the game as we do all the time, and I think that was well prepared to switch the defensive system to a 4-4-2 formation that usually we play with a back five, also defense. And it was against their 4-3-3 that I think that we wanted to be more in a high pressing situation. I think that we kind of do it well. We played our way, and did it really well. But the last third, and the last play was what was the difference between winning or a tie today,” added Reina.
Oakland was also without Paul Blanchette serving his suspension for a red card in the previous match, allowing Taylor Bailey to step in. Roots kept the clean sheet, while the defense did well to limit clear chances for Rising.
“[Bailey] did really well. As we know, he was really good with his feet when he wants to find the free man in the build up situation. This made it that we could build up better and try to play our way better. And today he helped a lot on these situations and also the situation that he had to save as a goalkeeper. He did it really well,” said Reina about Bailey’s performance.
The tie now brings Oakland’s record to 6-11-7 and 29 points and are in ninth place entering their two week break. Roots won’t play again until traveling to Detroit City on August 13, while during that span watches sixth-place Las Vegas plays three times, seventh-place Sacramento also plays three time, eighth-place Los Dos plays twice, and 10th place Phoenix–who haven’t won a game since May–goes twice. Serious points will need to be dropped from each team.
Against Rising, Oakland had some good opportunities in the first half with its strategy to bomb down the wings. Azocar had an attempt in the 22nd that was saved, while Ottar Magnus Karlsson had the most clear look of the match in the 41st when receiving a feed by Rito.
Karlsson had another chance in the 62nd when making a run into the area and retrieving a pass by Azocar, but the striker’s chip attempt was stopped by Ben Lundt. Rito had another ball in to Ottar that led to a near opportunity in the 70th, but appeared to react late to the ball as it crept past Sivert Haugli.
Karlsson had a look in the 88th when Darek Formella played a ball over the top, but Ottar’s shot on the volley was saved by Lundt–standing in good position at the right post. Moments later, Karlsson had a header blocked by Farrell. Roots shouted for a hand ball, but the ref ruled that the defender was in a natural position.
FotMob Top-10 Ratings
- Emrah Klimenta, 7.9
In 89 minutes, Klimenta completed 41 of 49 passes, 3/7 long balls, seven passes into the final third, created one chance, had 3/3 successful dribbles, won 4/5 ground duels, 2/2 aerial duels, six clearances with two by header, two interceptions, nine recoveries, and finished with 76 touches.
2. Mikael Johnsen, 7.6
In 82 minutes, Johnsen recorded two shots with one blocked, completing 32 of 42 passes, 1/5 crosses, 3/4 long balls, eight passes into the final third, took one corner, created two chances, had 4/6 successful dribbles, won 5/8 ground duels, one interception, six recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 61 total touches.
3. Juan Carlos Azocar, 7.3
In 90 minutes, Azocar recorded three shots with two on target, completed 30 of 38 passes, 1/3 long balls, three passes into the final third, created three chances, had 2/6 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, blocked one shot, won 2/11 ground duels, 2/2 aerial duels, one clearance by header, one interception, six recoveries, and finished with 63 total touches.
4. Alejandro Fuenmayor, 7.3
In 90 minutes, Fuenmayor completed 40 of 46 passes, 9/13 long balls, two passes into the final third, won 1/3 tackles, 3/6 ground duels, 1/2 aerial duels, blocked one shot, five clearances with two by header, three interceptions, five recoveries, and finished with 62 total touches.
5. Matias Fissore, 7.1
In 90 minutes, Fissore completed 33 of 42 passes, 3/7 long balls, five passes into the final third, won 2/3 tackles, 4/6 ground duels, 2/3 aerial duels, blocked one shot, two clearances, one interception, six recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 54 total touches.
6. Charlie Dennis, 7.1
In 63 minutes, Dennis recorded one shot on target and completed 19 of 28 passes, 2/7 crosses, 4/6 long balls, took four corners, six passes into the final third, created one chance, won 2/3 tackles, 6/6 ground duels, 1/2 aerial duels, four recoveries, drew three fouls, and finished with 46 total touches.
7. Taylor Bailey, 7.0
In 90 minutes, Bailey recorded two saves with one by diving and one in the box, completed 17 of 26 passes, 5/14 long balls, 12 throws, one high claim, 15 recoveries, and finished with 41 total touches.
8. Tarek Morad, 6.9
In 90 minutes, Morad completed 45 of 58 passes, 3/9 long balls, four passes into the final third, dribbled past two defenders, seven clearances with five by header, won 2/7 ground duels, 3/6 aerial duels, two interceptions, six recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 77 total touches.
9. Jose Hernandez, 6.8
In 90 minutes, Hernandez recorded three shots with one on target and one blocked, completed 58 of 65 passes, 8/8 long balls, eight passes into the final third, dribbled past two defenders, won 2/2 tackles, 2/8 ground duels, three interceptions, seven recoveries,
10. Ottar Magnus Karlsson, 6.7
In 90 minutes, Karlsson recorded eight shot attempts with three on target and three blocked, completing 11 of 13 passes, one pass into the final third, created two chances, missed two big chances, won 3/9 ground duels, 1/2 aerial duels, one clearance by header, two recoveries, drew three fouls, and finished with 37 total touches.