Late Arango Goal Gives Real Salt Lake Important Win Over LAFC

Oct 1, 2023, 8:32 PM | Updated: Oct 2, 2023, 1:50 pm

SANDY, Utah – An 72nd-minute Chicho Arango header from Rubio Rubin gave Real Salt Lake all the scoring they would need in a 1-0 road win over LAFC.

Real Salt Lake (13-11-7, 46 pts) beat LAFC 1-0 on Saturday, October 1. The win moved Real Salt Lake into a second-place tie with Seattle in the Western Conference.

RELATED: Real Salt Lake Beats Vancouver As Playoff Race Intensifies

At a glance, the stat sheet doesn’t indicate a game that Real Salt Lake should have won. The Claret and Cobalt gave up 13 more shots than they took and possessed the ball for 31.8 percent of the match.

Zac MacMath finished with his ninth clean sheet of the year.

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

First Half

The game opened with both teams getting a feel for each other as neither side applied much offensive pressure in the opening minutes.

LAFC had an 11th-minute corner kick but couldn’t turn it into a scoring chance.

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Zac MacMath ended the best early scoring chance for LAFC when he dove on a ball near the top of the box before a shot could be attempted.

RSL’s offense finally advanced into the attacking half in the 27th minute after LAFC controlled more than 70 percent of the possession in the first 25 minutes. Following a long run, Andrew Brody had his right-footed shot blocked before it could reach its target.

An apparent injury to LAFC’s Kellyn Acosta forced the first substitution of the game with Mateusz Bogusz replacing Acosta in the 34th minute.

RSL was out-shot seven shots to two and LAFC had the only three shots on frame in the half. Real possessed the ball less than 35 percent of the half.

Second Half

RSL’s first shots on goal came in the opening minute when Cristian Arango and Andrés Gómez each had a go. Maxime Crépeau made a spectacular diving stop on the look from Gómez.

Real’s defense let up briefly early in the half but a pair of saves from MacMath kept LAFC off of the scoreboard.

Real Salt Lake went to their bench in the 69th minute with head coach Pablo Mastroeni calling on Maikel Chang and Rubio Rubin to give his team some life.

It took ten minutes but Rubin picked up his second assist of the season when he sent a perfect cross into the box for Chicho Arango. Arango soared to the ball and headed it past the keep to give RSL a 1-0 advantage.

RELATED: Chicho Arango Header Gives Real Salt Lake Second-Half Lead

With seven minutes of stoppage time, LAFC had opportunities to tie the game up late but Real’s defense held strong. In the final minute, MacMath was just able to get his hand on a Timothy Hillman shot to the top corner, sealing the 1-0 win for RSL.

How To Watch Real Salt Lake

RSL returns to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, October 7 to face Sporting Kansas City. Real Salt Lake drew with SKC in their only meeting this season back in July. Kickoff for this match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (MT).

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.

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Late Arango Goal Gives Real Salt Lake Important Win Over LAFC