Real Salt Lake Falls To Red Hot St. Louis After Second Half Run

Mar 25, 2023, 9:33 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2023, 12:15 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake fell to undefeated St. Louis City at home by a score of 4-0 in the first-ever match between the clubs.

After playing excellent defense in the first half, RSL crumbled after halftime. João Klauss scored two goals in five minutes to put the game out of reach.

Reactions To The Loss

After a troubling loss that is best summed up as a tale of two halves, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni said that the problem was the mindset while trailing.

“Obviously disappointing,” Mastroeni said. “How the mood and the mindset kind of left us. Strong teams look at that first goal as an obstacle. They don’t look at it like the end of the world.”

Only four games into the season, Real Salt Lake sits at the tenth spot in the Western Conference with a record of 1-3. They have scored the 26th least goals in the MLS.

“We’ve been putting a lot of pressure on ourselves as a collective by not capitalizing on opportunities,” Mastroeni said. “If you don’t score goals, you don’t win games. Goals change games, and it changes psychology. It changes momentum. And, I just felt like we stopped playing after we conceded the first goal.”

Emeka Eneli, who made his MLS debut against St. Louis, was optimistic despite the loss.

“Obviously the first half went well,” Eneli said. “Going into halftime, we had a lot of good chances. If we score those chances. I think the game could end up differently. But, in soccer, you don’t take your chances. So, we’ll just learn from it and then regroup on Monday and go again.”

Eneli played for 90 minutes, took 1 shot, and recorded an 81.4% accurate pass percentage.

“We go into the second half and obviously we crumbled a little bit,” Eneli said. “A score to go off the corner and then we kind of just fell apart. We can’t let that happen in the future.”

Pablo Ruiz made his season debut against St. Louis on Saturday. He also played 90 minutes and took two shots (one on goal).

“I think (Ruiz) brings a lot with the ball,” Mastroeni said. “In the first half, him and Jasper (Löffelsend) did a great job of gobbling up second balls and switching the point of attack, which is a big area of focus.”

Real Salt Lake Hosts Undefeated St. Louis

First Half

St. Louis was called for a foul just after the kickoff. Nothing materialized off of the free kick for RSL.

The story was good defense early on. There were 0 shots taken in the first 9 minutes.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath saved what would have been the first goal of the night for St. Louis in the 10th minute. The header by Lucas Bartlett came from inside the 6-yard box.

St. Louis committed 4 fouls in the first 15 minutes.

Real Salt Lake led the time of possession through 20 minutes but St. Louis was able to get more shots off. MacMath got another save off of a shot from Tomás Ostrák in the 21st minute.

Damir Kreilach was shown a yellow card.

RSL’s first shot on goal came from 40 yards out on the right wing. It was blocked by St. Louis’ goalkeeper Roman Bürki.

Both Pablo Ruiz and Justin Meram got quality shots off in the next 2 minutes but neither resulted in a Real Salt Lake score. Ruiz’s shot was saved and Meram’s was wide right.

Real Salt Lake continued to play stifling defense in the first half. Any opportunities created by St. Louis were quickly conceded.

Just before halftime, a shot from Carlos Gómez taken inside the box was saved by St. Louis.

Second Half

In the 47th minute, St. Louis’ Nicholas Gioacchini scored the first goal of the game from the center of the box. The shot was assisted by Indiana Vassilev off of a cross.

Meram took another shot in the 52nd minute but it resulted in the 6th save of the night for St. Louis.

St. Louis defender Lucas Bartlett was shown a yellow card for a foul in the 55th minute.

Real Salt Lake’s first substitution came in the 60th minute. Jefferson Savarino entered for midfielder Justin Meram.

Just after the substitution, St. Louis scored for a second time. The goal by João Klauss gave him his fourth of the season.

Just minutes later, Klauss did it again. He scored 2 goals in a span of 5 minutes.

Real Salt Lake’s Emeka Eneli was shown a yellow card for a foul in the 68th minute.

MacMath got an incredible diving save off of a shot by Indiana Vassilev in the 70th minute.

Justen Glad was shown a yellow card for a foul in the 74th minute.

In the 76th minute, St. Louis midfielder Rasmus Alm scored from the right side of the box to give the City a 4-0 lead.

Savarino took a shot from long range that was saved by St. Louis.

After a free kick in the 82nd minute, Savarino took another shot but it was blocked.

Rasmus Alm was shown a yellow card for a foul in the 85th minute.

RSL set up for a corner kick as it was announced there would be five minutes of extra time.

Danny Musovski got a shot on goal in extra time, but it was saved by Bürki.

RELATED: How To Watch, Stream, Listen To Real Salt Lake In 2023 Season

Real Salt Lake Heads To Columbus

On Saturday, April 1, Real Salt Lake will hit the road to play against the Columbus Crew. The Eastern Conference club is 2-1-2.

All Major League Soccer games are broadcasted on Apple TV with MLS Season Pass.

All Real Salt Lake English-language radio coverage for the 2023 season and beyond will be carried on various KSL radio signals. KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM / 1160 AM) are both stations under the Bonneville International umbrella.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Real Salt Lake Falls To Red Hot St. Louis After Second Half Run