Real Salt Lake Ends Losing Skid With Victory Over Orlando City SC
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake snapped a four game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC.
After a bit of back and forth action to start the game, RSL’s starting lineup decisions paid off in a big way.
Sam Johnson, who was acquired by RSL in the offseason, made his second start at striker for the home team and was sensational.
Johnson Scores First MLS Game
In the 17th minute, the Liberian national hit paydirt on play that may have been RSL’s best of the season. Johnson received a slick little pass from Albert Rusnak as he was blazing towards the goal, but slipped and fell as the ball arrived. He quickly recovered and split a pair of defenders before booting a powerful kick on the short side of the goal past Orlando City SC keeper Brian Rowe.
Getting the opening goal was crucial for RSL. Had Orlando been the first squad to score, the numbers show that it would have been extremely difficult for RSL to recover. Going into the match, RSL’s record when allowing the opening score was 0-3-0. They also had struggled when trailing at halftime with a similar record in such occasions.
But Johnson wasn’t done yet. He had several more devilish runs at the net including another shot that sailed just wide of the frame.
Kreilach Connects To Put RSL Up 2-0
RSL kept the pressure up in the second half. Jefferson Savarino fired several shots on goal that nearly hit the mark but his best moment came when he set up Damir Kreilach for RSL’s second goal of the game.
Savarino received a long pass perfectly, then nutmegged a defender before finding Kreilach near the top of the box. Kreilach, who was trailing the play, found himself wide open. He caught the pass and fired it on net to double RSL’s lead.
Nani Does His Thing
While RSL controlled most of the action against Orlando City, the visiting team’s superstar finally made an impact late in the game.
Former Manchester United star Nani subbed in early in the second half and eventually scored in the 81st minute on a free kick that a wall of RSL defenders and goalkeeper Nick Rimando were unable to stop.
Still, in the end RSL finally snapped their losing streak and got back on the right foot with a 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC.
It seemed that head coach Mike Petke, after doing some tinkering all season, had the right players in the right position for the match and it paid off with a victory.
Justen Glad’s return to the starting 11 at center back was also quite helpful, especially when came to tracking down loose balls with his speed. He and Aaron Herrera set quite the tone on the defensive end.
RSL will hit the road for their first ever match against FC Cincinnati on Friday. The match can be streamed live on KSLSports.com and the KSL TV app.