Real Salt Lake Fall In Final Minutes Against Vancouver At BC Place

Jun 4, 2022, 7:01 PM | Updated: 7:16 pm
Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake....
Photo courtesy: Laura Dearden of Real Salt Lake.

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake dropped points in the final minutes of the game against Vancouver on the road after Aaron Herrera was shown red and conceded a penalty with just minutes remaining.

Despite the loss, Real Salt Lake was the dominant team throughout the majority of the fixture, adding more frustration to the loss ahead of the extended break.

“We played a really good game but unfortunately the game comes down to moments and we lost on a broken-down set-piece and failed recovery in transition,” Mastroeni said during the post-game interview.

Manager Pablo Mastroeni opted not to change the starting XI from a week ago when RSL emphatically beat Houston Dynamo 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Recently signed attacking midfielder Diego Luna was welcomed to the bench and was joined by the likes of Jefferson Savarino, Anderson Julio, and Everton Luiz, among others.

The fixture began with Vancouver looking to assert its authority early, forcing Real Salt Lake with very little time on the ball. However, Real Salt Lake was able to withstand the pressure and play throughout it but was unable to threaten the Vancouver goal.

Despite the impressive road form, Real Salt Lake looked intent on seeing the game level into the main break. That was, until poor defending gifted Vancouver the game’s opening goal in the 31st minute following a long corner kick that found the head of center back Ranko Veselinović who flicked the ball on and past Zac MacMath. Understandably, MacMath rose to his feet in disgust with the defensive effort by his teammates.

As soon as the goal stood, Vancouver settled into a much more compact defensive shape, asking Real Salt Lake to be creative as they attempted to move the ball into the attacking third.

No changes were made by Mastroeni at the main interval.

It did not take long for Real Salt Lake to find the scoreboard in the second half. Sergio Córdova found space in the area and headed a shot that was saved by Whitecaps goalkeeper Cody Cropper on the goalline. But as the VAR check was ongoing to decide whether or not the ball had crossed the line or not, the play continued and Justin Meram pick pocketed the ball from Ryan Raposo and snuck the shot just by the near post to level proceedings in the 52nd minute.

Savarino replaced Maikel Chang in the 62nd minute as Real Salt Lake began its push for the game-winner and fourth comeback win of the season.

Chaos ensued in the 80th minute when Pablo Ruiz hit a shot from just outside the box taking a deflection on the way and hitting the right woodwork.

Real Salt Lake conceded what was assumed to be the game-winner in the 84th minute but Tosaint Ricketts was ruled offside and the goal was called back.

Luna made his debut in the 88th minute when he replaced Sergio Córdova and slotted in right behind Bobby Wood at the point of attack. Luna’s debut signified the 28th Real Salt Lake player to see game time this season.

“It was really cool to get a few minutes and begin my career here at Real Salt Lake…my teammates have welcomed me with open arms and I am really fortunate to be at this club,” Luna said post game.

Just as the fourth official signaled that there would be three minutes of added time Vancouver broke on the counter-attack and Aaron Herrera was forced to make a sliding challenge in the box in an effort to eliminate a goal-scoring opportunity. Unfortunately, Herrera did not make any contact with the ball and was shown a red card while also giving away a penalty in the process.

In the 93rd minute, Ryan Gauld punished the penalty into the back of the net sending MacMath the wrong way.

Vancouver stole three points at home despite being on the back foot for most of the contest.

Next Match

Real Salt Lake will begin their bye week and will return to the pitch on June 18 when they host San Jose Earthquakes on June 18.

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

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