The San Diego Loyal miss out on three points but remain in second place in the Pacific Division.
It was expected to be a shootout, but the Loyal couldn’t score in the second half to even the score. Despite the loss, the Loyal played well against a team that is playing hot. The Roots have surged into playoff contention after now winning eight of their last 11 matches.
Oakland moved up into fourth place with 30 points after the Tacoma Defiance lost just a few minutes before this match did. San Diego still sits in second with 37 points.
The first half of the match showcased two world-class goals for both sides. The players certainly knew how important this match was.
Just six minutes in, Johnny Rodriguez scored what could be the goal of the year for Oakland as he jumped in the air and sliced a bicycle kick to the left of diving Guerrero.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) September 23, 2021
It’s not every day you see a player attempt a bicycle kick, let alone actually make it.
It took the rest of the half, but the Loyal finally responded after trailing since early on. Alejandro Guido assisted to Collin Martin, where he then drilled the ball to the top-right corner — where Oakland’s keeper couldn’t block it. Martin was just outside the box, and it took almost a perfect kick to get it done.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) September 23, 2021
The 63rd minute is where Oakland won the match. The Roots forced a penalty kick from Collin Martin, leading to a goal from José Hernández. They took a late 2-1 lead, and the Loyal couldn’t connect with a goal to tie it.
Just like the last match between these two 11 days ago, it was chippy. Six total yellow cards issued tonight, with seven in the previous match. This could be a rivalry in the making, especially if these two teams compete for the playoffs every year.
The Loyal couldn’t get the job done tonight but still were able to play their style of soccer. They will look to bounce back against third-place Orange County SC this Saturday, September 25.
Once again, it’s another crucial match where the Loyal need those three points to remain a top seed in the playoffs.