In front of a sold-out crowd, the Oakland Roots got the better of Birmingham Legion FC with an 84th minute game-winning goal
OAKLAND, CA (October 1, 2022) Birmingham Legion FC fell 2-1 to the Oakland Roots in the first ever matchup between the two clubs on Saturday night at Laney College Football Field. The Three Sparks opened the scoring first in the 21st minute but conceded an equalizer to Oakland three minutes later in the 24th. Oakland would then score in the 84th minute to seal a win in front of a sold-out home crowd.
Legion’s opening goal came from leading goalscorer Enzo Martinez, who registered his 14th goal of the season. A great move by forward Juan Agudelo got him in behind the Oakland defense, where he was able to feed a pass off to Martinez to take on the first touch.
After the Roots scored in the 24th, the game was locked up in the midfield and the score stayed 1-1 until the 84th minute when Juan Azocar scored a game-winning header for the home side.
Most of the stats on the night were even, with the Legion having 48.5% possession to Oakland’s 51.5% and both sides garnering ten shots each. The expected goals for the match were 0.76 for Birmingham and 0.62 for Oakland. The Roots played in front of a sold-out home crowd and were fighting for a chance to play in the postseason, so it’s no surprise the California side never gave up.
“Losing brings plenty of frustrations,” said Legion FC Head Coach Tommy Soehn. “How it comes about – the game dictates itself – but I think on the day we created enough opportunities and, in the end, you’re not going to win games if you don’t put away your chances. That’s how you get teams to open up and take risks. Credit to their goalie who made a couple of big saves too,” said Soehn.
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 21’ – #19 Enzo Martinez (assisted by #99 Juan Agudelo)
OAK – 24’ – #22 Óttar Karlsson
OAK – 84’ – #18 Juan Azócar (assisted by Guillermo Diaz)
BHM – 4-2-3-1 – #1 Matt VanOekel; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Phanuel Kavita ©, #5 Mikey Lopez (89’ – #13 Jake Rufe); #20 Zach Herivaux, #6 Anderson Asiedu (89’ — #17 Matthew Corcoran); #8 Bruno Lapa (72’ – #29 Sadik Balarabe), #19 Enzo Martinez, #99 Juan Agudelo (89’ – #47 Mataeo Bunbury), #11 Marlon Santos (72’ – #10 Prosper Kasim)
OAK – 3-4-2-1 – #20 Paul Blanchette; #6 Daniel Barbir, #30 Alejandro Fuenmayor, #14 Tarek Morad; #18 Juan Azócar, #8 José Hernández, #12 Charlie Dennis, #72 Edgardo Rito; #9 Dariusz Formella, #10 Lindo Mfeka; #22 Óttar Karlsson
The Three Sparks return to Protective Stadium to wrap up the season with two home matches on Sunday, October 9 at 4:00pm against League-leaders San Antonio FC, and Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00pm against Indy Eleven. Fans can get tickets to the October 9 match here, and the October 12 match here.
For team updates, news and more, follow @bhmlegion on social media, sign up for Legion FC’s Newsletter, or visit bhmlegion.com. The Legion FC app is also available for download via Apple or Android. For gameday reminders, sync the Legion FC 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.