Real Salt Lake Stuns LAFC To Advance In MLS Cup Playoffs

Nov 2, 2018, 12:58 AM | Updated: 1:31 am
Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach celebrates RSL's 3-2 over LAFC in the knockout round of th...
Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach celebrates RSL's 3-2 over LAFC in the knockout round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – RSL advanced to the next round of the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 win over LAFC in the knockout round.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach scored two goals and added one assist to lift RSL into the Western Conference semifinals against Sporting Kansas City.

Karate Kid Crane Kick

In the 58th minute, Kreilach tied the game at two goals apiece with a brilliant goal that was compared to the ‘crane kick’ from the movie ‘Karate Kid’. LAFC attempted to get the ball out of their 18-yard box but Kreilach found the rebound just outside the box and the ball hit the right side post and bounced into the back of the net.

“The moment was the best time to do this (karate kick),” Damir Kreilach said about the goal. “Luckily, the ball went into the goal.”

Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke had high praise for Kreilach after the game.

“He has been one of our leaders since he has been here, through his play and his attitude,” he added.

LAFC Fans Involved In First Half

After Kreilach scored his first goal in the 21st minute, ten minutes later, the LAFC supporters behind RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, were throwing ice cubes at him. Seconds later, a fan threw a cup of beer onto the field that landed just in front of Rimando. LAFC then scored their first goal of the match to tie the game at one.

The officials suspended play for five minutes after the goal to calm down the crowd.

It was a different environment at times. It was a little bit hostile,” Petke said about the incident with the LAFC supporters. “For them to stop play for throwing things on the field, that was a new one for me.”

RSL’s Savarino Gives RSL The Lead

69 minutes into the match, RSL gained the lead for good after forward Jefferson Savarino kicked the ball on the left side of the goal, the ball deflected off of LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman and went into the goal.

The effort was unbelievable and we were able to hold on,” RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said after the match. “We have to get this game in the past because we have a big one on Sunday.”

Real Salt Lake will host the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals against No. 1-seed Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. The game will be broadcast on FS1 at 8 p.m.

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Real Salt Lake Stuns LAFC To Advance In MLS Cup Playoffs