By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–Evan Conway scored a first-half goal but it wasn’t enough for San Diego Loyal SC as it played to a 3-1 loss against visiting Oakland Roots SC Wednesday night at Torero Stadium.
Conway scored in the 24th minute of the Week 25 USL Championship matchup but Oakland answered back with two first-half goals and a third late in the match to prevent SD Loyal from winning its seventeenth match of the year. SD Loyal (16W-7L-4D, 52 points) will begin preparing for its next regular season match, a road affair against Monterey Bay FC on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. SD Loyal remains in second place in the conference standings as it vies for a top spot in the playoffs.
Wednesday night started with a bang when Conway put back a Kyle Vassell blocked shot to give SD Loyal a 1-0 lead. Oakland goalkeeper Pual Blanchette dove to block Vassel’s close-range shot before Conway charged the rolling ball on the rebound. All alone and without hesitation, Conway didn’t waste his chance to send in his eighth goal of the season.
But the lead didn’t last long for the home team. Juan Carlos Azocar tied the match 1-1 when he brought down a cross by Charlie Dennis and sent it in with his left foot, beating SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas on the play in the 28th minute.
Emrah Klimenta sent in the game-winner 10 minutes later, heading in Oakland’s second score for a 2-1 lead. He headed a ball that lingered in the area after a shot hit an SD Loyal defender and could not be cleared.
Oakland (7W-7L-12D, 33 points) took the lead into halftime and held off a charging SD Loyal. Vassell, Conway, and Tumi Moshobane each had chances that forced Blanchette to make standout saves throughout the second half.
Coach Landon Donovan’s team continued to pressure and rallied late but Oakland withstood the surge and ultimately sealed the scoring with an Edgardo Rito goal on a counterattack in the 88th minute.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
SD – Evan Conway, 24th minute: Conway sent in a deflected Kyle Vassell shot that left the ball rolling alone in the penalty area. SD 1, OAK 0
OAK – Juan Carlos Azocar (Charlie Dennis), 28th minute: Azocar fired a left-footed shot after bringing down a cross by Dennis. SD 1, OAK 1
OAK – Juan Carlos Azocar (Charlie Dennis), 38th minute: Klimenta headed in a shot after the defense could not clear a ball in the penalty area. SD 1, OAK 2
OAK – Edgardo Rito (Charlie Dennis), 88th minute: Rito sped up field on a counter-attack and beat SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas to seal the scoring of the night. SD 1, OAK 3