ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Tarek Morad scored a stoppage-time equalizer as Oakland Roots SC earned its first point under new Head Coach Juan Guerra in a 2-2 draw against New Mexico United on Wednesday night before 7,731 fans at Isotopes Park as the hosts let victory slip away late for a second consecutive outing.
New Mexico had an early chance that was sent just wide by Neco Brett from the right side of the penalty area, but instead it was the visitors that took the lead as Charlie Dennis controlled an overhead pass by Joseph Nane in the center of the penalty area and snapped a finish home to the right corner for his first goal in the Championship. Dennis almost made it a two-goal lead for Roots SC in the 34th minute as he controlled a clearance to the top of the penalty area, lifted the ball over an advancing defender and struck a left-footed volley that cracked the crossbar just above the top-left corner of the net.
The hosts leveled as the game went into first-half stoppage time, however, as Chris Wehan controlled brilliantly on a pass in from the flank as he entered the right side of the penalty area to center, and while Oakland goalkeeper Benny Diaz got his hand to the cross, Brett was on hand to knock home the ball at the top of the six-yard area for his third goal of the season. New Mexico then took the lead with 21 minutes to go when Sam Hamilton delivered a chipped cross from the right channel to the opposite side of the penalty area where Sergio Rivas was on hand to head home.
Oakland tried to find a way back into the game, and Dennis threatened again in the 79th minute with a shot from 25 yards that went wide of the left post. Johnny Rodriguez then forced New Mexico goalkeeper Alex Tambakis into a big save with two minutes remaining to keep the hosts ahead, but in the first minute of stoppage time the visitors were able to recycle possession following a corner kick on the left, and Jesus Enriquez’s chipped ball from the top-right edge of the box found Morad at the back post for a header back across goal to earn Oakland its first point of the season.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Charlie Dennis, Oakland Roots SC – Dennis scored the opening goal for the visitors, hit the crossbar with another excellent effort, and had three shots and two key passes overall as Oakland earned a late result.
OAK – Charlie Dennis (Joseph Nane) 8’
NM – Neco Brett 45+1’
NM – Sergio Rivas (Sam Hamilton) 69’
OAK – Tarek Morad (Jesus Enriquez) 90+1’