Real Salt Lake Overcome Galaxy Might In Return To Rio Tinto Stadium

Apr 30, 2022, 3:50 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm
Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake....
Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake.

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has picked up its first three points since March 19 with the 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.

Mastroeni entered the fixture unchanged from a week ago when Real Salt Lake drew 0-0 on the road against Portland. Star forwards Chicharito and Douglas Costa both started for the Galaxy in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.

The opening half was filled with very few chances as both sides opted for a conservative approach. Interestingly, Real Salt Lake only managed 39% of the possession in the first half and looked comfortable defending in a deep block. Despite the dominance in possession by the Galaxy, they were unable to create any goal-scoring opportunities, the compact nature of the RSL defense held up strong throughout the opening 45 minutes.

“I think that was the backline for the majority of last year so we have definitely got good rhythm together,” Herrera said in his post-game press conference. “We know where each other are going to be and the communication is really good.”

The big story coming out of the first half was the lower leg injury to Sergio Córdova 42 minutes into the game. He was replaced by Rubio Rubin who has only seen 48 minutes of MLS action this season.

Captains Goal

Four minutes into the second half Real Salt Lake found the opening goal of the fixture when acting captain Marcelo Silva soared into the air and connected with a header from just inside the six-yard box following a wonderful cross from Pablo Ruiz. Silva celebrated by taking his shirt off and was subsequently booked, not that he seemed to care.

“They play three in a zone at the top of the six and what really breaks a zone is really aggressive runs,” Mastroeni said postgame when asked about how he exploited the Galaxy from corner kicks. “When you are not finding goals in the run of play set pieces are really big and they were good to us today,” he added.

It was the first goal for Real Salt Lake since the 43rd minute of the home encounter with Toronto that ended in a 2-2 draw on April 9th snapping a 274-minute goalless streak for RSL.

The Galaxy responded with a greater sense of urgency, as all good teams do. Aaron Herrera flicked the ball over for a corner from his goal line in the 71st minute after a deflected shot by Efrain Alvarez from the penalty spot.

The save of the game occurred in the 76th minute when Dejan Joveljic laid off a pass onto the right foot of Samuel Grandsir who looked to pick out the bottom left corner of the net but MacMath’s reflexes won the duel.

Disaster struck in stoppage time when substitute Joveljic found acres of space on the penalty spot and swiped the ball into the back of the net. But, referee Drew Fischer was sent over to the VAR monitor and ruled that there was interference on the play from an offside position of a Galaxy player, and the goal was taken away.

Next Match

Real Salt Lake travels to Nashville SC next weekend. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 8.

As always, the match will be available to stream via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

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