Real Salt Lake Donates Win On The Road Against LAFC

Sep 12, 2021, 10:43 PM | Updated: 11:14 pm

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake Twitter...

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake suffered a painful loss to LAFC despite being the more dominant team. Crucial mistakes made by Real Salt Lake ultimately cost the visiting team any result.

“It is tough, we wanted to come here and play with a certain type of mentality, we wanted to dictate the game and play it on our terms,” Manager Pablo Mastroeni said post-game. “I think we did that with the ball, I think we did that without the ball…but you cannot concede a goal in the manner that we did on the third one and expect to win away from home against a team like LAFC,” he added.

Mastroeni opted for a different formation as he utilized a 3-5-2. It was the first time this season that Real Salt Lake has operated with three center backs in the same lineup.

David Ochoa returned from a quad injury and started in goal. It was his first fixture since the middle of July when Real Salt Lake beat Colorado 3-0.

Toni Datkovic, Erik Holt, and Justen Glad solidified the backline with Donny Toia and Maikel Chang operating as wingbacks. Everton Luiz and Nick Besler played in the heart of the midfield with Albert Rusnak as the number 10. Damir Kreilach and Anderson Julio were at the point of the attack.

LAFC was undermanned as captain Carlos Vela was unavailable due to injury. Brian Rodriguez was also unavailable.

Horrendous Start

The game began with Real Salt Lake conceding the opening goal of the game 19 seconds into the contest. Justen Glad deflected the ball into the feet of Cristian Arango who beat Ochoa but clipping the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Real Salt Lake settled and equalized in the 28th minute when Chang found Kreilach alone at the top of the box who hit the ball with the inside of his right foot and nestled the ball into the top right corner. It was a magical strike from a magical player.

But Real Salt Lake could not get out of their own way. Just two minutes after Kreilach scored, LAFC responded with a goal of their own and it was again Arango who found the back of the net after he found a pocket of space in between Glad and Holt to header the football past Ochoa.

The best opportunity for Real Salt Lake to equalize again came late in the first half when Julio broke from an LAFC corner kick and found himself one-on-one with LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero but was nudged when he unleashed his left-footed attempt and pushed his shot wide-left.

The halftime interval read LAFC 2, Real Salt Lake 1.

Despite the scoreline, Real Salt Lake looked to be the more dominant team. They controlled the possession and found dangerous pockets of space on multiple occasions when entering the attacking third.

Real Salt Lake Beat Themselves

“We gifted them goals,” Rusnak said following the game. “Especially the third one. The first one was 30 seconds into the game we were not switched on and we paid the price but you know, I thought the team effort, the fight is how we need to play moving forward.”

The second half began on Real Salt Lake terms when Rusnak pinched the football in the middle of the park and played a through ball into Julio who took one touch and passed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner coming within inches of the right post but finding the net nonetheless. It was a beautiful finish for Julio who has found form as of late under Mastroeni.

In the 59th minute disaster struck Real Salt Lake when Datkovic went to play a simple back pass to Ochoa. But Ochoa came off his line to take the football himself and the subsequent pass trickled into the back of the net for an own goal.

It remains unknown who is at fault for the own goal. If Ochoa called Datkovic out then Datkovic is to blame, but if Ochoa did not communicate with Datkovic then it is on him. Either way, Datkovic needs to raise his head and look to see where Ochoa is. The mistakes should never have occurred.

Sadly, Real Salt Lake could not find the third goal required to pinch a point against LAFC. It was the third consecutive loss that Real Salt Lake has suffered against LAFC this season. Fortunately, the two teams will not play another regular-season game again in 2021.

Western Conference & Next Fixture

With the loss, LAFC climbed the Western Conference standings and tied Real Salt Lake on 30 points through 23 matches played.

Real Salt Lake will not travel to San Jose for a date with the Earthquakes on Wednesday, September 15. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. and will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.


  • Real Salt Lake Scoreboard

  • Real Salt Lake Team Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

Justen-Glad-Chicharito-Save-Real Salt-Lake...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad Signs Contract Extension Through 2027 Season

Real Salt Lake has extended veteran defender Justen Glad through the 2027 season, the club announced on Thursday.

1 day ago

Real Salt Lake Vancouver Whitecaps...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Beats Vancouver As Playoff Race Intensifies

Real Salt Lake pulled off a second-half comeback to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, and move above them in the Western Conference.

6 days ago

Justen Glad Real Salt Lake...

Chandler Holt

Justen Glad Gives Real Salt Lake Lead, Gets Bloody Nose In Return

Justen Glad got in front of a cross following a corner and scored a lead-taking goal for RSL against the Whitecaps.

6 days ago

Brayan Vera...

Chandler Holt

Brayan Vera Evens Score For RSL Against Vancouver Whitecaps

After taking eight shots in the first 45', Brayan Vera found the back of the net on Real Salt Lake's first attempt in the second half.

6 days ago

Real Salt Lake Dallas...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Drops To FC Dallas Following Second-Half Run

Following a cluster of second-half goals from FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake couldn't claw back into the game and lost at home, 3-1.

9 days ago


Chandler Holt

Chicho Arango Gives Real Salt Lake Lead Over Dallas Just Before Halftime

Chicho Arango scored the first goal for either side just before halftime, giving Real Salt Lake the lead over FC Dallas going into the break.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Real Salt Lake Donates Win On The Road Against LAFC