San Antonio FC (10-1-3, 31 points) played a League match at Toyota Field on Saturday night for the first time since April 30th - a span of 49 days and six competitive games - and they sent the fans home feeling frustrated following a 1-1 Draw against Oakland Roots SC (4-9-4, 21 points) on Saturday night. It was the first ever meeting between SAFC and Oakland who are playing in their second season in USL Championship. It was the first Draw of the season for San Antonio after playing 18 prior matches this year without a tie.
Joseph Nane scored for Oakland in the 29' while SAFC found the equalizer from Samuel Adeniran in the 45'. It was only the second appearance for Adeniran with SAFC and it was his first goal with the Club. The Texas native was aquired on loan from Seattle Sounders of MLS on June 9th.
SAFC did play an International friendly this past Tuesday at Toyota Field to officially welcome the team back home, but Saturday's match was the first home game to count in the standings in nearly two full calendar months. SAFC lost that match on Tuesday to Liga MX's Club Atletico by a score of 4-0 in a game that largely featured SAFC Academy players.
Overall, SAFC continues to play strong at home, now with five wins, one draw and only one loss in all competive matches at Toyota Field in 2022.
Manger Alen Marcina reflected after the match, "I felt we dominated from start to finish. Our pressing actions were fantastic. We created a number of clear-cut opportunities. Yes, we’d like to execute. We’ll learn from this. But all in all it’s a point."
San Antonio was victimized by a short corner set piece for Oakland's Goal. PC found himself outnumbered 2 to 1 on the wing and Oakland was easily able to manuever past him and dribbled the ball through the SAFC box. Nane found himself wide open in the middle, received a perfect pass and had a clean look for his header that beat Jordan Farr. It was his first goal for Oakland.
Not to be out done, Adeniran also had a nice Goal. SAFC Midfielder PC headed down a pass at his feet at the top of the six that Adreniran was able to turn and fire into the lower right corner of the net beating Oakland Keeper Paul Angelo Blanchette with a quick move. PC now has four Assists on the season to lead SAFC and all four have come in the last four games.
Said Adeniran on his Goal, “I’m very grateful. Grateful to God, grateful to the coaching staff for believing in me, telling me to come out here. It’s just amazing, it’s surreal to be able to be able to do it in front of these amazing fans in this amazing stadium, so I’m just very happy.”
The match was marred by choppy play and mutiple stoppages in the second half as numerous players found themselves struggling with the hot conditions. As a result the game lacked a sustained rhythm in the last half hour of the match and it led to a whopping ten minutes of second half added time.
San Antonio nearly found the match winner in the 82' from Forward Santiago Patino on a breakway but his shot was well saved by Blanchette.
Blanchette drew the ire of the San Antonio fans throughout the night as he labored through the match. He did not take Goal Kicks and he went to ground stopping the match numerous times. But to his credit he also came up with three massive saves to help earn the point for the Roots. The point blank save he made on SAFC's Justin Dhillon's header in the 32' was arguably the play of the match.
San Antonio finished the match with a wide gap in Shots (17-5) Shots on Target (7-3) and Shots Inside The Box (10-4) but could not find the winning touch.
Oakland finished ahead in Possession (53%-47%) and in Clearances (23-9).
Next up for San Antonio FC is a huge road match against Colorado on Friday night. Colorado and SAFC have been head to head at the top of the USL West standings all season long. The game could go a long way towards deciding the top seed in the West come playoff time.
San Antonio FC will return home on Tuesday June 28th when they host FC Tulsa. It will be the first of three straight home games for SAFC.
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PHOTO: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM - @PEAKACTION