Real Salt Lake Suffer Defeat Against LA Galaxy Following Controversial VAR Decision
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy midweek on the road. The loss further aggravates the disappointing week for RSL who settled for a road draw against an undermanned Houston team last weekend.
“I thought in the first half we were decent with our energy but I think in the second half they (LA) responded with more aggression because they are the home team, they have to respond, in those moments we have to respond a little bit better,” Manager Freddy Juarez said.
Juarez opted for a changed lineup that included Jonathan Menéndez who received his first start in his short-lived RSL career. Anderson Julio started on the other flank for the first time in a long time and Everton Luiz returned to the starting XI after being absent as of late. David Ochoa missed a second consecutive game due to injury and Erik Holt received the start at center back after Justen Glad was forced to sit after receiving two yellow cards in the previous game against Houston.
Three weeks ago the two teams settled for a 2-2 draw at home. RSL was hopeful to pinch a result in Los Angeles but as is often the case in Major League Soccer road points are incredibly hard to find.
LA Dominant Early
RSL got off to a decent start and played through Menéndez on the flank frequently. Menéndez has showcased his skill set through minimal minutes and once again looked dangerous any time he touched the ball.
Bobby Wood started at the point of the attack and also looked dangerous. His best opportunity of the half came when his half-volley shot that had eyes for the left corner of the net deflected off a Galaxy defender and RSL had to settle for a corner.
“I thought overall it was a solid game from the guys, it was a good shift. We created multiple chances but were unable to put one away,” Juarez said.
Nonetheless, as poised as RSL looked, the Galaxy also had their moments. The Galaxy was peppering the goal of Zac MacMath who came up with a number of big saves to keep his team in the contest.
The Galaxy cracked the code of RSL in the 53rd minute when Efrain Álvarez was ruled onside and tucked his shot past MacMath and into the bottom left corner. The goal caused controversy as Álvarez looked to be potentially in an offside position when he received the pass but VAR did not overrule and the goal was deemed fair.
RSL captain Albert Rusnák had a chance to equalize in the 77th minute but had his shot saved by the right palm of Galaxy keeper Jonothan Bond. Rusnák had Damir Kreilach and Justin Meram in a central location but opted to shoot and let the opportunity go to waste.
RSL was fortunate not to go down 2-0 when Galaxy striker Kévin Cabral found himself all alone at the penalty spot but MacMath came up with a monster save to keep the visitors in the contest.
Finally, Kreilach had the final chance of the game in the 93rd minute when he got on the end of a deep cross from Holt but Bond made yet another big save denying RSL a heroic equalizer.
RSL won the shot tally 15 to 14 but the Galaxy had the more accurate shots beating RSL 8 to 4. The possession tally was very close with the Galaxy barely getting the better of RSL as they controlled 51 percent of the possession.
The Galaxy had 15 more passes but was less accurate by two percent passing the football, while RSL won the corner count 8 to 7.
The game was close, it was hotly contested. However, RSL was unable to find a way to score and endured a second consecutive game in which they failed to score a goal.
RSL will head straight to Portland and prepare for a fixture against the Timbers that is scheduled for Saturday, August 7th with kickoff slated for 8:30 p.m.
“It is always hard playing three games on the road let alone three road games,” Aaron Herrera said postgame. “I am doing treatment 24/7 just trying to be ready,” he added.
The contest will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot come.