REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake Impress In Emphatic 3-0 Drumming Of LAFC

Sep 9, 2020, 10:02 PM | Updated: 11:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake rebounded from a very disappointing away performance against Minnesota United with an emphatic 3-0 victory at home against LAFC.

RSL’s lineup was vastly different than the lineup we saw during the disappointing road trip against Minnesota just four days ago. Nedum Onuoha was the only player to start against Minnesota who started this evening against LAFC.

The hosts got off to a flying start, pressuring the LAFC goal frequently.

In the ninth minute, their persistence paid off after a headed deflection from a Rusnak corner kick fell to the feet of Maikel Chang who proceeded to whip another delivery into the area only for Damir Kreilach to bury the header past LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega for the opening goal of the game.

“He is the LAFC killer,” assistant coach Tyrone Marshall said regarding Kreilach’s recent performances against LAFC.

Chang was everywhere. The Cuban international was dominating the right-wing, feeding his teammates into great attacking positions. Aaron Herrera’s outside of the right boot attempt was saved at the near post shortly after the goal, Chang nearly had his second assist.

“We put some plays in for the game this evening, we knew we were going to be able to create chances from set-pieces,” Marshall said.

“I thought today, in the first half, he created three chances alone for myself,” Rusnak said regarding Chang.

However, as the first half minutes ticked on by, it became evident that the visiting LAFC had composed themselves. They began dominating the midfield battle and subsequently dominating the possession. Opportunities for the visitors quickly followed.

The half ended with RSL in control of the scoreboard.

Half Time Magic From Freddy

Whatever Freddy Juarez said at halftime worked.

In the 47th minute, RSL doubled their lead thanks to the fancy footwork on Justin Meram, who scored his second goal for the club since being acquired during the off-season.

The Meram goal came off yet another corner kick from Rusnak. RSL were having their way from set-pieces. That is something that has not been said for seemingly many years.

Very little changed in the second half, the lead only grew.

In the 78th minute, Justen Glad found himself with the ball at his feet from, you will never guess it, yet another set-piece, this time a free-kick that Rusnak swung into the area. Glad’s pursuing shot ricocheted into a flying arm of an LAFC player. A penalty ensued.

“That is something that we have worked on from the beginning of the season. Set pieces can win you guys or can lose you games and the last month things have been going our way,” Rusnak said during the post-game press conference.

Rusnak, for all his hard work providing the deliveries all evening, was rewarded with a goal from the spot in the 79th minute after he calmly slotted the ball with vigor and power into the bottom left corner of the net.

It was now 3-0 to the good guys.

Considering the second half that resulted in four goals being conceded just a handful of days ago at Minnesota, the performance this evening against LAFC at home was exquisite.

The victory catapults RSL back into the playoff picture, jumping LAFC in the standings and claiming the seventh spot in the Western Conference.

Man Of The Match

The accolade could have gone to a number of RSL players, however, Albert Rusnak’s delivery all night was what separated the two teams. His composure on the ball and ability to dictate the passing patterns of RSL gave the hosts a clear advantage 30 yards from goal.

Maikel Chang came in a close second. Chang was delightful, specifically in the first half, however, as the second half continued his impact fell.

Next Match

Real Salt Lake will host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday with kick-off expected for 7:30 p.m.

It will be yet another short turnaround for the Claret and Cobalt as the match against the Rapids will mark the third week in a seven-day span for RSL.

The match can be viewed on KSLSports.com or by downloading the KSL TV app.

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