Oakland looked dominant for large portions of the match late in the game, but couldn’t overcome an early deficit as Roots fell to visiting FC Tulsa 1-0 at Pioneer Stadium in the East Bay on Saturday night.
Tulsa looked to control the pace of the game in the early going. They played keepaway from Oakland while simultaneously pushing the ball into Roots territory.
Ten minutes into the match this effort paid dividends when Tulsa forward Phil Goodrum found space in the Oakland penalty area and finished an acrobatic header to give the visiting team a 1-0 lead.
Tulsa continued to look strong through much of the first frame, but a save by Roots keeper Paul Blanchetter on a breakaway chance, and an immediate save on the follow up rebound try, gave Oakland a spark.
This spark led to Roots’ Johnny Rodriguez nearly leveling the match in the 34th minute with a hard shot from a tough angle inside the box — the shot missed just wide right of the goal and the home team continued to battle.
Just moments later Oakland continued to build momentum when a scrum in front of the Tulsa keeper provided another prime scoring opportunity, one that was once again ultimately thwarted by the Tulsa defense.
Oakland’s fiery effort eventually cost them, as Lindo Mfeka was issued back-to-back yellow cards in the 35th and 44th minutes, leading to his ejection from the contest.
Despite being down a man, Roots returned to the pitch in the second half looking to build on the momentum they had earned at the end of the first.
The intensity of the contest continued to escalate, leading to fourteen total cards being shown, as Oakland pushed hard to secure what are now crucial points late in the USL Championship season — but Tulsa pushed hard back.
In the end, despite controlling much of the second half, Roots were unable to find an equalizer, and Tulsa earned all three points at the end of regulation time.
Oakland will look to right the ship, as their playoff push intensifies, when they face Monterey Bay back in the East Bay on Sept. 23rd at 7:00 PM.
Speaking with Head Coach Noah Delgado
Four game losing streak, obviously tough in a critical time of the season, what do you make of it?
Yeah some tough results you know — the other three in the past — Louisville didn’t go away and Sac Republic those losses are rough, and this one as well. Giving up that early goal hurt, I thought the first half was just okay. I thought the boys came out in the second half and pushed.
Finding consistent answers on the attacking sides have been the issue lately. What are your thoughts on that?
Its both sides. I don’t think we’ve had a clean sheet in about five or six games. So both sides of the ball are important to us. You know having players in and out on international duty as well as some injuries we’ve been dealing with. It’s just that time of the season, we gotta focus up.
Oakland Roots SC vs FC Tulsa
USL Championship | September 16, 2023
Venue: Cal State University, East Bay
Kickoff: 7:00 PM PT
Weather: 69 degrees, clear
TUL: 10’ Phil Goodrum
OAK: 17’ Napo Matsoso (yellow card)
TUL: 21’ Blaine Ferri (yellow card)
OAK: 35’ Lindo Mfeka (yellow card)
OAK: 44’ Lindo Mfeka (2nd yellow card)
OAK: 48’ Neveal Hackshaw (yellow card)
TUL: 51’ Patrick Seagrist (yellow card)
TUL: 57’ Phil Goodrum (yellow card)
OAK: 62’ Johnny Rodriguez (yellow card)
TUL: 70’ Milo Yosef (yellow card)
TUL: 79’ Marcus Epps (red card)
OAK: 79’ Bryan Tamacas (yellow card)
TUL: 87’ Keegan Hughes (yellow card)
OAK: 90’+ Memo Diaz (yellow card)
OAKLAND ROOTS LINEUP: Paul Blanchette, Danny Barbir, Neveal Hackshaw (Baboucarr Njie), Emrah Klimenta, Irakoze Donasiyano, Napo Matsoso (Trayvone Reid), Memo Diaz, Bryan Tamacas, Lindo Mfeka, Jeciel Cedeño (Ryan Her), Johnny Rodriguez (Anuar Peláez)
Unused subs: Wolfgang Prentice, Kieran Bracken Serra, Tim Syrel
Shots: 12 | Shots On Goal: 3 | Corner Kicks: 4 | Fouls: 23 | Offside: 3 |
FC TULSA: Michael Nelson, Rashid Tetteh, Roger Boret, Keegan Hughes, Milo Yosef, Eric Bird, Nathan Worth, Patrick Seagrist (Justin Malou), Blaine Ferri (Collin Fernandez), Phil Goodrum, Marcus Epps
Unused subs: Austin Wormell, Angel Bernal, Thomas McCabe, Siad Haji, Patrick Weah
Shots: 6 | Shots On Goal: 3 | Corner Kicks: 1 | Fouls: 23 | Offside: 2 |