Game Notes & Player Ratings: Oakland Roots concede late goal in 1-1 tie at Detroit City

It was another tie for Oakland Roots against Detroit City, this time after leading 1-0 after Charlie Dennis’ goal in the 50th minute followed by Detroit equalizing in the 87th minute when Francis Atuahene scored. The result brings Oakland’s record to 6-12-7 and nine games left in the season. With 30 points, it’s shaping up to be a thick race for a final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Following Saturday’s results, Roots are in ninth-place and one point behind eighth Los Dos (which has one game in hand), three back of Las Vegas (one game in hand) in the seventh-place playoff barrier, and four back of El Paso–which has played one more match than Oakland and plays against on August 20. Behind Roots, meanwhile, is Phoenix and Monterey Bay with 29 points each.

Roots dropping points is a painfully common occurrence in 2022 with Saturday’s result being the eighth time Oakland has either tied or lost from a winning position. How valuable would’ve been those 24 points? Here’s a list of those games:

  • 3-2 loss to Monterey Bay, March 26; Roots led 2-1 after 49 minutes.
  • 2-2 tie at New Mexico United, March 30; Roots led 1-0 after eight minutes.
  • 1-1 tie at El Paso, April 23; Roots led 1-0 after 23 minutes.
  • 1-1 tie at Las Vegas, May 14; Roots led 1-0 after three minutes.
  • 2-1 loss to New Mexico United, June 15; Roots led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
  • 1-1 tie at San Antonio, June 18; Roots led 1-0 after 29 minutes.
  • 3-3 tie at Sacramento Republic, July 9; Roots led 3-2 after 70 minutes.
  • 1-1 tie at Detroit City, August 13; Roots led 1-0 after 50 minutes.

Roots had its chances and had better looks before and after the 50th minute goal. Dennis nearly had an early goal in the ninth minute when his left footed shot forced a diving save. In the 18th, Darek Formella had a shot on target saved after receiving a feed by Edgardo Rito on the counter attack.

Dennis’ goal was too fast for the cameras to catch. A disastrous ball by Detroit keeper Nate Steinwascher went straight to Mac D, pounding on it for the left-footed shot to hit off Steinwascher’s hands and back into the net.

Rito perhaps had the most clear look in the 65th with an opportunity to put Oakland up 2-nil when Dennis found him with a ball over the top, but Edgardo’s left footed shot (his weaker foot) skied by the left post.

In the 82nd minute, Oakland subbed on Joseph Nane for Mikael Johnsen in a defensive move. But Detroit struck just five minutes later when Antoine Hoppenot was sprung down the right side and Roots’ defense strung out of position with Emrah Klimenta the farthest man back pressing Hoppenot. The DCFC striker was able to find Atuahene with acres of space and Matias Fissore the closest defender. In a one-on-one situation, Atuahene buried his attempt.

It was an unfortunate turn after a, for the most part, solid game by the defense to not allow many clear looks. Detroit finished with 10 shots and three on target after going into halftime with three shot attempts and none on target. As for Oakland, they finished with 12 shots, three on target, five blocked and three big opportunities missed.

A defensive error nearly came back to bite them in the first half at 19 minutes when Alejandro Fuenmayor let a ball go past him, but Paul Blanchette recovered in time to make a save. Blanchette also came up big with a save in the 78th minute while consistently snatching corners and balls into the box.

Roots coach Juan Guerra shared his thoughts on Twitter, voicing optimism after playing in a difficult environment at Keyworth Stadium.

“Tonight we were able to play our way in a very tough environment. I am proud of my players and staff. We will keep pushing forward, always believing in our idea and identity. Resiliency,” wrote Guerra.

Oakland now scoreboard watches for another 11 days when traveling to San Diego on August 24. There are eight games with teams within eight points of Roots during that span: Galaxy II faces New Mexico on Sunday, following by NMU vs. Memphis (Aug. 17), OCSC vs. Las Vegas (Aug. 17), Sacramento vs. Colorado Springs (Aug. 17), Monterey vs. NMU (Aug. 20), El Paso vs. San Diego (Aug. 20), Vegas vs. Sacramento (Aug. 20), and Los Dos vs. Charleston (Aug. 20).

FotMob Top-10 Ratings

  1. Charlie Dennis, 7.9

In 90 minutes, Dennis scored once with three shots, one on target, and one blocked, completing 26 of 32 passes, 1/6 crosses, 4/5 long balls, seven passes into the final third, took two corners, created two chances, dribble past three defenders, won 2/2 tackles, 3/11 ground duels, one clearance by header, one interception, four recoveries, and finished with 61 total touches.

2. Tarek Morad, 7.8

In 90 minutes, Morad recorded one shot on target and completed 36 of 49 passes, 7/12 long balls, six passes into the final third, 1/1 successful dribbles, won 1/1 tackles, 5/6 ground duels, 7/9 aerial duels, five clearances with three by header, four interceptions, eight recoveries, drew three fouls, and finished with 79 total touches.

3. Paul Blanchette, 7.7

In 90 minutes, Blanchette recorded two saves with one by diving and one in the box, completing 10 of 27 passes, 2/19 long balls, one punch, four throws, two high claims, nine recoveries, and finished with 40 total touches.

4. Alejandro Fuenmayor, 7.4

In 90 minutes, Fuenmayor completed 40 of 55 passes, 12/20 long balls, eight passes into the final third, created one chance, dribbled past two defenders, won 2/2 tackles, won 4/6 ground duels, 1/1 aerial duel, five clearances with two by header, one interception, seven recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 67 total touches.

5. Emrah Klimenta, 7.3

In 90 minute, Klimenta completed 26 of 36 passes, 6/9 long balls, 12 passes into the final third, dribbled past one defender, won 1/2 tackles, 2/3 ground duels, 6/7 aerial duels, blocked two shots, three clearances with two by header, two interceptions, five recoveries, and finished with 56 total touches.

6. Darek Formella, 7.2

In 90 minutes, Formella recorded two shots with one on target and one blocked, completing 12 of 22 passes, three passes into the final third, created one chance, missed two big chances, won 3/3 tackles, 5/8 ground duels, 2/6 aerial duels, two clearances, four recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 39 total touches.

7. Jose Hernandez, 7.2

In 82 minutes, Hernandez recorded one shot that was blocked and completed 33 of 40 passes, 4/5 long balls, six passes into the final third, created one chance, had 1/3 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 2/5 ground duels, 1/1 aerial duel, one interception, 10 recoveries, and finished with 48 total touches.

8. Edgardo Rito, 7.1

In 90 minutes, Rito recovered two shots with one blocked and completed 19 of 24 passes, 2/2 crosses, 2/3 long balls, created one chance, 1/1 successful dribble, won 2/4 ground duels, 1/2 aerial duels, blocked one shot, one clearance by header, three interceptions, eight recoveries, and finished with 40 total touches.

9. Juan Carlos Azocar, 6.4

In 90 minutes, Azocar recorded two shots with one blocked and completed 17 of 28 passes, 1/4 long balls, two passes into the final third, missed one big chance, 1/4 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 1/1 tackles, 3/10 ground duels, 1/3 aerial duels, blocked one shot, three clearances with one by header, six recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 49 total touches.

10. Matias Fissore, 6.4

In 90 minutes, Fissore recorded one shot attempt and completed 26 of 34 passes, 4/6 long balls, nine passes into the final third, created one chance, won 1/3 ground duels, three interceptions, three recoveries, and finished with 43 total touches.

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