Real Salt Lake Falls At Home To Vancouver Despite Dominating All Facets Of The Match
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake took 25 shots in their Western Conference fixture against the Vancouver Whitecaps but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and ultimately lost 2-1 in one of the more heartbreaking losses in recent memory.
It was all RSL in the first half as the hosts dominated all facets of the game.
However, despite all of the opportunities to go ahead, most notably when Damir Kreilach missed an open header inside the six-yard box, the score was all tied entering the half-time interval.
Second Half Woes
The second half is when this match got juicy.
No changes were made from either club as the second half got underway. But unlike the first half, it was the visitors who opted on making the most of their chances in front of the goal.
In the 53rd minute, Whitecaps striker David Milinkovic beat Andrew Putna after Cristian Dajome found the run of Milinkovic on the penalty spot.
Captain Sees Red
It went from bad to worse for RSL who lost their captain Kyle Beckerman in the 63rd minute after Kevin Stott, the head referee, went to VAR to take another look at a challenge that caused Whitecaps goalkeeper Thomas Hasal to go down with an apparent head injury. Beckerman was shown his second yellow after picking up his first early in the first half.
“I am going to have to address it, because that is just not us,” Juarez said regarding the back-to-back games of red cards for RSL.
Despite being down a man, RSL continued to control the possession battle. Vancouver was defending deep in their own half, allowing RSL to control the tempo of the game.
The perseverance paid off in the 81st minute when Maikel Chang delivered a perfect back-post cross that Justin Meram got on the end of and scored the equalizer.
Remarkably, the match was all tied with just a dozen minutes remaining.
Just when it looked like RSL was going to pinch a point at home down a man, the Whitecaps delivered the most brutal of blows.
Final Nail In The Coffin
Fredy Montero found space down the right flank and was able to play a flat ball into the box along the ground only for a streaking Lucas Cavallini to find space between Nedum Onuoha and Marcelo Silva and trickle the ball over Putna’s head and into the back of the net.
The 3,000 odd fans at the match were in disbelief.
RSL controlled 60 percent of the possession and led the shot tally 25 to 8 but were not able to capitalize on their opportunities and the Whitecaps were.
The loss dropped RSL into 11th position in the West, just three points clear of San Jose who sits on the bottom.
“It feels like they have two attacking opportunities and they took them but overall defensively I feel as though we played pretty well,” Onuoha said.
RSL will host the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, September 23rd.
The match can be watched on KSLSports.com or by downloading the KSL TV app.