SAN ANTONIO – Samuel Adineran had a goal and assist while Santiago Patino had a pair of late goals as No. 1 seed San Antonio FC pulled away for a 3-0 victory against No. 7 seed Oakland Roots SC before a sellout crowd of 8,208 fans at Toyota Field in the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2022 USL Championship Playoffs presented by Hisense on Friday night.
San Antonio will play host to the winner of the second Western Conference Semifinal between No. 3 seed Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and No. 4 seed Sacramento Republic FC at Toyota Field on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The hosts made a flying start, scoring their fastest goal of the season to take the lead after 118 seconds. Connor Maloney found Cristian Parano breaking down the right flank, and while both PC and Santiago Patino had chances blocked by Oakland defenders after a cutback cross into the penalty area, the third time proved the charm as the ball spun to Adeniran for a shot from the left side of the penalty area that found the right corner.
The goal was the third-fastest in USL Championship Playoffs history and was Adeniran’s fourth in three games against Oakland as the Seattle Sounders FC loanee notched his 11th goal of the campaign overall.
Despite going down early, Roots SC began to settle into the game soon after. Charlie Dennis almost leveled with a rasping shot from 20 yards that flashed just over the crossbar, and Oakland found passing lanes as Ottar Magnus Karlsson dropped off the front line to connect play. The visitors received the first of two let offs in the first half in the 25th minute, however, as Maloney threaded a pass to Parano in space in the right side of the penalty area only for the Argentine’s finish to slide just wide of the left post as Oakland’s Paul Blanchette tried to narrow the angle.
Roots SC continued to dominate possession as the half went on, but arguably its best chance of the half came from a deceptive set piece just past the half-hour mark. Both Dennis and Jose Hernandez feinted to take the free kick on the right initially, and when Dennis’ ball to the back post finally arrived it froze San Antonio’s defense allowing Danny Barbir to arrive unmarked. His header went off target, though, and while two minutes later Karlsson tested SAFC goalkeeper Jordan Farr with a powerful shot from 15 yards, the shot-stopper proved equal to it, tipping the effort over.
San Antonio could have added to its lead on a second let off for the visitors seven minutes before halftime when Parano stole possession from Barbir in Oakland’s half and quickly broke on a two-on-one, but Patino spooned his shot from 14 yards over the crossbar as he leant back to meet the cross. Remaining within a goal at the break, Dennis tried again to level for Oakland just past the hour-mark with a narrow-angle shot from the left that Farr palmed away.
Oakland’s possession and pressure resulted in a steady stream of corner kicks during the game, and one almost came to fruition with 17 minutes remaining. Dennis’ delivery from the left to the back post found Karlsson, who volleyed toward the top of the six-yard area, where Azocar redirected on target into the arms of Farr. Two minutes later, however, Patino delivered the coup de grace, controlling a deflected pass at the top of the penalty area and curling his finish into the top-right corner of the net.
The visitors wouldn’t lie down, and with two minutes to go Roots SC almost set up a grandstand finish as first Karlsson had a shot blocked by a defender before the rebound spun to Mikael Johnsen for a snap volley that Farr did well to keep out. But Patino’s second arrived in the final minute to close out the result for San Antonio as he turned his defender well in the left side of the penalty area and finished to the far corner to earn SAFC its second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Final.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Samuel Adeniran, San Antonio FC – The Texas native recorded the opening goal and notched an assist while winning 5 of 6 aerial duels to lead the attacking line for the hosts on the night.
SA – Samuel Adeniran 2’
SA – Santiago Patino (Samuel Adeniran) 75’
SA – Santiago Patino (Justin Dhillon) 90’