Oakland Roots fell 2-nil to San Antonio FC in its first home game since July 27, conceding early and late goals in the fifth and 85th minutes respectively, both to Sam Adeniran. San Antonio certainly proved its first-place quality with its solid defense.
The long absence from Laney College means Oakland hasn’t scored at home since its 4-0 victory over El Paso Locomotive on July 16.
“An early goal is tough to give up against a team of that quality. They are a strong, organized team–we knew that coming in. It made things difficult, especially with the early goal. We had bits and pieces that worked together and played well but for an overall performance, we need to continue pushing. It’s not that you’re going to have the ball the whole time and attack the whole time, but just to have more of a complete performance,” said interim head coach Noah Delgado.
Aside from a Edgardo Rito run on net in the first half, there wasn’t much to write home about in the first 45 minutes of action. They went into halftime with just three shots attempts and one on target, but showed more productivity in the second half–where they churned out 10 shots albeit just one more attempt on target, finishing with seven shots blocked on the night.
Charlie Dennis perhaps had the most challenging look on SAFC goal keeper Jordan Farr in the 65th minute when his shot forced a diving save after taking a slight deflection.
“There were moments in the second half where we were creating a lot of chances and a lot of momentum. It’s continuing off of those and keeping those longer momentum streaks and staying on the ball, because we had it at times. I thought San Antonio did a good job of blocking shots, putting their body on the line, and doing some hard work. I think we could be a bit better at serving balls and getting on the end of crosses, but there were some chances that we had in those moments,” explained Delgado.
Reflecting on the struggles in the first half, Delgado thinks that the team was rushing to get forward instead of processing the field around them.
“We were just trying to get ahold of it more. I think we were pretty rushed, we understand its an important game and we were rushed to go forward where I think we could’ve went more side-to-side with quicker ball movement and exploit them that way. But I think we were a bit rushed in our decisions,” said Delgado.
Delgado’s message to the team at halftime was that they were still in the match down 1-0 despite not being in top form.
“My message was: as how we’re playing, we’re still in this and believe in this. If we get at it right now, we’re going to create some chances and create some difficult opportunities,” said Delgado.
Ottar Magnus Karlsson entering in the second half had an impact on how the match progressed. He had no shot attempts but helped spread the field with his attacking presence. Delgado is happy to have the Big Fucking Viking back in the fold.
“He’s just a true professional; a goal scorer and someone that’s going to give their best day-in and day-out. And now we’re just going to get rolling, I hope that he gets hot. If Ottar can get hot and other guys can contribute, we’ll have a good run,” said Delgado.
Although Roots take a disappointing loss, they are still in the playoff race. Seventh-place Las Vegas Lights had a disastrous 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, keeping Oakland within striking distance at four points ahead.
“We’re still in it. We put our heads up, go to sleep, and recover. We check out our injuries and see where we are at, and then we keep fighting and get ready for the next one. It’s just that one, the next three points are that important. I checked all the results and some of them went our way, so we just keep going. Now it’s winning games outside of home as well and most importantly, my first game at Laney as well,” said Delgado.
Oakland looks ahead to a critical match on the road against Phoenix–which lost 1-0 against Colorado Springs. Rising is one point back of Oakland in 10th with one game in hand. Delgado responded to the obvious undertones to the upcoming match after the departure of Juan Guerra.
“I think this team is used to it now, especially this group from mid season and the end of last season. Playing away games and a tough three games, really, this stretch has been against some good teams with two of them away. It’s just a clear message that we’re still in this and we’ve just got to keep fighting and going to work… We’ll do our job and just continue working together to get results,” said Delgado.
FotMob Top-10 Player Ratings
- Matias Fissore, 7.3
In 90 minutes, Fissore recorded one shot that was blocked and completed 34 of 50 passes, 1/7 long balls, six passes into the final third, dribbled past two defenders, won 2/2 tackles, 4/7 ground duels, one clearance, two interceptions, 12 recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 65 total touches.
2. Joseph Nane, 7.3
In 62 minutes, Nane recorded one shot and completed 33 of 35 passes, four passes into the final third, won 3/4 tackles, 6/7 ground duels, 3/3 aerial duels, blocked one shot, one clearance by header, seven recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 48 total touches.
3. Edgardo Rito, 7.1
In 90 minutes, Rito recorded two shots with one on target, completing 24 of 28 passes, 2/4 crosses, two passes into the final third, created two chances, missed one big chance, won 3/4 tackles, won 5/7 ground duels, 1/2 aerial duels, one clearance by header, three recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 51 total touches.
4. Emrah Klimenta, 6.7
In 90 minutes, Klimenta recorded two shots with one blocked, completing 38 of 53 passes, 7/10 long balls, seven passes into the final third, had 1/2 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 3/4 tackles, 6/10 ground duels, 3/4 aerial duels, blocked one shot, four clearances with two by header, one interception, six recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 88 total touches.
5. Alejandro Fuenmayor, 6.7
In 90 minutes, Fuenmayor completed 36 of 50 passes, 5/12 long balls, two passes into the final third, had 1/1 successful dribble, dribbled past three defenders, won 1/2 tackles, 3/8 ground duels, 3/4 aerial duels, six clearances with three by header, one interception, eight recoveries, and finished with 70 total touches.
6. Paul Blanchette, 6.5
In 90 minutes, Blanchette recorded seven saves and stopped six shots from inside the box, completing 14 of 24 passes, 7/17 long balls, eight throws, three high claims, 10 recoveries, created one chance, and finished with 43 total touches.
7. Tarek Morad, 6.3
In 86 minutes, Morad completed 43 of 48 passes, 5/7 long balls, two passes into the final third, dribbled past three defenders, blocked one shot, two clearances, won 1/6 tackles, three interceptions, eight recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 71 total touches.
8. Mikael Johnsen, 6.3
In 71 minutes, Johnsen recorded two shots with one blocked, completing 25 of 32 passes, 1/3 crosses, 3/3 long balls, took two corners, created two chances, had 1/1 successful dribble, won 1/3 tackles, 5/10 ground duels, three recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 51 total touches.
9. Ottar Magnus Karlsson, 6.3
In 45 minutes, Karlsson completed 5/5 passes, had 2/3 successful dribbles, won 3/4 ground duels, one recovery, drew one foul, and finished with 14 total touches.
10A. Darek Formella, 6.2
In 86 minutes, Formella completed 34 of 42 passes, two passes into the final third, won 2/2 tackles, 4/9 ground duels, 3/4 aerial duels, one recovery, drew two fouls, and finished with 57 total touches.
10B. Lindo Mfeka, 6.2
In 45 minutes, Mfeka recorded one shot that was blocked and completed 18 of 24 passes, 1/2 long balls, seven passes into the final third, took one corner, created two chances, won 2/5 ground duels, one clearance by header, two recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 37 total touches.