SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 9, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (8-5-6, 30 points) maintains possession of the Rocky Mountain Cup after a 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids after goals from Jefferson Savarino and Justin Meram on either side of the halftime break.
In front of a Club-record ninth consecutive sellout, Real Salt Lake looked to maintain possession of the Rocky Mountain Cup. In order to keep the trophy in Sandy, Utah RSL needed to secure a win or a draw against long-time rivals, Colorado Rapids. But the task was made harder when only 15 minutes into the match Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni was forced to make an early change, substituting Justin Meram on for the injured Anderson Julio.
Throughout much of the first half the two sides struggled to dominate possession, alternating half chances on either side of midfield. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s best chance came in the 24th minute when Meram forced a goal-line clearance from one of Colorado’s defenders. In the final minutes of the first half Zac MacMath was forced the make a point-blank save, blocking a shot from Gyasi Zardes to preserve the 0-0 scoreline. With first half stoppage coming to a close, it seemed as the two sides would head into the locker room deadlocked, but a moment of brilliance from Savarino, following passes from Pablo Ruiz and Meram saw RSL take the 1-0 lead.
Real Salt Lake came out of the halftime break swinging, doubling its lead in the 51st minute when Meram headed in a rebound off the crossbar from a Ruiz free kick. Just a few minutes later Sergio Cordova nearly netted one of his own, but his headed shot bounced off the post. Just 13 minutes shy of breaking the Club’s longest home shutout streak, Colorado was awarded a penalty kick after a foul from Marcelo Silva in the box. Diego Rubio was able to bury the shot in the 67th minute.
After lots of back and forth between the two sides, the Rapids found the equalizer in the 89th minute. Zardes rose up and headed the ball ahead to Lalas Abubakar whose right-footed shot snuck past the fingertips of MacMath and into the side netting to knot the score at 2-2. RSL pushed numbers forward looking for the game-winner, but the team was unable to slip one through into the back of the net and the match ended tied 2-2.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake heads East to take on Atlanta United FC on Wednesday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m. MT before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium to host long-time rivals Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Pablo Ruiz) 45+3rd minute: Receiving a pass from Justin Meram at the bottom of the midfield circle, Ruiz thread a long ball to Savarino, who juked his defender, before skipping right-footed shot into the bottom right corner.
RSL: Justin Meram 51st minute: After being awarded a free kick, Pablo Ruiz slammed a free kick into the crossbar which bounced directly into the path of Meram. Diving forward, Meram headed the ball into the back of the net.
COL: Diego Rubio (PK) 67th minute: Colorado was awarded a penalty kick after a foul from Marcelo Silva inside the 18-yard box. Rubio stepped up and put his shot into the bottom right corner.
COL: Lalas Abubakar (Gyasi Zardes) 89th minute: After a header from Zardes flicked the ball into the box, Abubakar fired a right-footed shot just past the fingertips of MacMath and into the side netting.
- Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Bobby Wood (abductor), Justen Glad (hamstring) and Damir Kreilach (back) were unavailable due to injury.
- Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last 15 US Major League Soccer matches when leading at half-time (W9, D5) dating back to 8th May 2021 against SJ Earthquakes (L1-2).
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids
Date: July 9, 2022
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 95
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Colorado Rapids 0 2 2
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Pablo Ruiz) 45+3’
RSL: Justin Meram 51’
COL: Diego Rubio (PK) 67’
COL: Lalas Abubakar (Gyasi Zardes) 89’
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Marcelo Silva, Johan Kappelhof, Aaron Herrera; Maikel Chang, Pablo Ruiz (Nick Besler 75’), Jasper Löffelsend (Scott Caldwell 85’), Jefferson Savarino (Diego Luna 85’); Anderson Julio (Justin Meram 15’), Sergio Córdova (Rubio Rubin 75’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Tate Schmitt, Jonathan Menendez, Chris Kablan
Colorado Rapids (5-2-3): William Yarbrough; Sam Nicholson (Michael Barrios 61’), Danny Wilson, Lalas Abubakar, Steven Beitashour (Lucas Esteves 73’), Keegan Rosenberry; Max (Santouma Toure 82’), Bryan Acosta; Jonathan Lewis, Gyasi Zardes, Diego Rubio
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Philip Mayaka, Anthony Markanich, Collen Warner,, Darren Yapi
Stats Summary: RSL / COL
Shots: 14 / 15
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 11
COL: Danny Wilson (caution) 33’
RSL: Zac MacMath (caution) 38’
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 47’
COL: Bryan Acosta (caution) 50’
RSL: Justin Meram (caution) 86’
RSL: Nick Besler (caution) 90+1’
OFFICIALS:Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Kevin Lock
4th Official: Marcos Deo Liveira
VAR: Daniel Radford