Real Salt Lake Suffers Disappointing Defeat In First Trip To Q2 Stadium

Oct 2, 2021, 3:47 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake lost 2-1 on the road against Austin FC gifting Austin just their 3rd win over their past 12 matches.

“In this formation, and because we are so expansive the cover positions has to be better when we turn the ball over,” interim manager Pablo Mastroeni said immediately following the conclusion of the game. “I thought we improved with the ball from our last game and saying that I thought we were really cheap in possession. I thought our positions in the attack were better, however, I think our execution was really poor today.”

Mastroeni made four changes from the side that beat the LA Galaxy midweek by starting Donny Toia, Justin Meram, Nick Besler, and Anderson Julio to the starting lineup in replacement of Toni Datkovic, Maikel Chang, Everton Luiz, and Rubio Rubin respectively.

The fixture was the first time that Real Salt Lake had visited Q2 Stadium, previously, Real Salt Lake beat Austin FC 1-0 on August 14th during the inaugural fixture between the two clubs.

Slow Start

It was a slow start for Real Salt Lake, who had a difficult time finding much of the football throughout the opening quarter of an hour.

Austin FC was rewarded for their efforts in the 17th minute when a shot from Sebastián Driussi was saved by David Ochoa only to fall at the feet of Cecilio Domínguez who tapped the ball into the back of the net.

Shortly thereafter, Real Salt Lake found the tempo and speed of the game and looked to push up the field in an effort to solidify themselves. However, very few chances came from the visiting club.

The barrage of attacks continued for Austin, who looked like the far more likely team to score the next goal of the match.

Although, the halftime whistle beat them to it and the two sides entered the main interval with Austin having the 1-0 lead.

Mastroeni Makes His Moves

The start of the second half began in a similar fashion to how the first half played out, all on the terms of Austin.

So much so that Austin was rewarded their second goal of the game when Domínguez tapped home his brace. The goal came after Diego Fagúndez was played in behind Erik Holt before playing a simple pass to Domínguez who has nothing but the back of the net to aim for.

Then, Mastroeni immediately went to his bench and made a double substitution by bringing on Jonothan Menéndez for Justin Meram and Rubio Rubin for Anderson Julio.

The move paid dividends when Menéndez found the feet of Rubin at the top of the box who played a wonderful one-touch pass onto the feet of Damir Kreilach who calmly slotted the ball past Brad Stuver and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Real Salt Lake had life.

Sadly, Austin got back onto the front foot and immediately looked to regain their two-goal lead.

In the 78th minute, Austin has rewarded a penalty kick when the referee deemed that Erik Holt fouled Moussa Kalilou Djitté. But the VAR overturned the rule and no penalty was rewarded.

Austin continued to look for the dagger and produced a handful of attacking threats that seemed destined for the back of the net, but Ochoa stood tall and helped keep Real Salt Lake in the game.

“The first half we were standing still, then in the second we showed our mentality and started playing much better but were unable to get over the line,” Kreilach said following the final whistle.

Next Match

Real Salt Lake will have an extended break before their next game when they host Colorado Rapids on October 16th following the international break.

The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

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