Chris Wondolowski Brace Buries Real Salt Lake On The Road
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake is on the brink of missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons after the San Jose Earthquakes beat RSL 2-0 on the road this evening. With just two regular-season matches remaining, time is running out for RSL to solidify themselves a playoff birth in 2020.
RSL manager opted for a very defensive lineup with Everton Luiz and Nick Besler partnering in the heart of the midfield. Pablo Ruiz, who has arguably been the most impactful player for the club in 2020 started on the bench.
Justen Glad was also sidelined by Juarez as Marcelo Silva and Nedum Onuoha got the start at center back.
Damir Kreilach went to the point of attack with Albert Rusnak playing slightly behind him and Maikel Chang and Corey Baird playing on the wing.
First Half Barrage
It was a constant ambush for the first 35 minutes as San Jose dominated all aspects of the game early going. They controlled the possession and all of the attacking opportunities, RSL did not have any answers.
The opening goal came when Chris Wondolowski did what Wondolowski has been doing for a long time. The Quakes threw men forward after receiving possession in their own box and quickly found themselves inside the RSL area with a numerical player advantage. Christian Espinoza’s left-footed strike ricocheted off the right post and fell into the lap of Wondolowski who comfortably put the ball into the back of the net for the game’s opening goal.
It looked like it was going to get worse with RSL being in danger of going down multiple goals before the main interval but were able to create a number of attacking opportunities in the last 10 minutes of the first half to give the fanbase hope to enter the second half.
From Bad To Worse
The second half was hopefully going to bring more joy to an RSL team who was desperate to pick up all three points in a vital Western Conference fixture.
It was not meant to be.
“We were not good enough tonight,” Albert Rusnak said after the game. “We are not playing well enough to make the playoffs so we have to change something in the way we approach these games.”
Wondolowski scored his brace in the 74th minute after he found himself all alone on the back post, he was easily able to beat Andrew Putna and putting the Quakes up a comfortable two goals. The assist came from Shea Salinas.
RSL continued to struggle to break down the defensive structure of San Jose. It was a disappointing performance that left the RSL faithful scratching their collective heads.
“Conceding the first goal this year has not been good for us,” Aaron Herrera said after the game. “It seems as though when we concede the first goal we can occasionally come back and get a point but we rarely win,” he added.
Final Game Thoughts
It was a sloppy performance by RSL who had everything to play for with other results in the West going in favor of RSL. However, a culmination of poor passing and heavy touches resulted in a convincing victory for San Jose.
Unlike the previous match against FC Dallas, RSL struggled to create clear cut opportunities in front of goal as the man-to-man marking from San Jose proved too difficult for RSL to overcome.
The loss drops RSL down to 10th place in the Western Conference and two spots shy of making the playoffs. There are only two regular-season games remaining in the 2020 campaign for RSL.
RSL jump back on the plane and head to California again for a Sunday night date with the LA Galaxy. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
The Galaxy currently sits on the bottom of the Western Conference and last lost to Portland Timbers 5-2 on Wednesday evening.
You can stream the game for free on KSLSports.com or on the KSL 5 TV app.