SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, September 7, 2016) – Real Salt Lake made sure the sellout crowd of 20,266 got its money’s worth on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. After falling behind 1-0 and 3-1, RSL made the stellar comeback to earn a 3-3 draw against the LA Galaxy to maintain a tie for second place in the Western Conference with the Galaxy.
FW Joao Plata notched two goals and an assists, but it was FW Juan Manuel Martinez that capped off the night with his seventh goal of the season on the last kick of the ball to keep RSL unbeaten at home this season at 8-0-6 and second in the West at 12-8-8 (44 points). LA is even with RSL on points at 10-4-14 as both clubs moved ahead of the Colorado Rapids in the standings.
LA got on the board first in the sixth minute, as Emmanuel Boateng netted his second goal of the season. The Galaxy struck quickly on the counter attack, as Giovani dos Santos played the ball in behind the defense from midfield, leaving the speedy Boateng in a foot race with DF Jamison Olave. Boateng was first to the ball and carried it to the edge of the box before ripping his shot inside the near post to put RSL in a 1-0 deficit.
RSL’s best first-half chances to equalize came off of set pieces.
In the 26th minute, MF Javier Morales took his shot directly from a free kick just outside the box to force Brian Rowe into a save. Ten minutes later, Olave got his head to a Morales corner kick and FW Yura Movsisyan’s effort on the second ball missed over the crossbar. Then in the 41st minute, DF Chris Wingert headed a cross from MF Kyle Beckerman following a set piece, but missed just wide of the far post.
All told, RSL outshot LA 5-3 while holding 70% of the possession in the first half, but went into halftime still trailing 1-0.
LA would get the first two shots of the second half, but the first great scoring chance came in the 53rd minute as Plata scored on a penalty to equalize.
Morales put the ball into the box with a cross from the right side and Plata won the header, but couldn’t control it and it rolled wide of the net. Rowe went to collect it, but was careless with the ball and Plata poked it free. Rowe dove into Plata to slow him down and referee Chris Penso didn’t hesitate to point to the spot. Plata then converted the penalty for his eighth goal of the season to even the score at 1-1.
The score didn’t stay level long, though, as dos Santos put LA up 2-1 in the 57th minute with his 11th goal of the year. The Galaxy took a quick free kick at midfield and dos Santos got on the end of it unimpeded before pelting a first-time shot past GK Nick Rimando for his 11th goal of the season.
LA doubled the lead in the 64th minute as dos Santos scored again, this time thumping in the rebound of a Jeff Larentowicz shot that caromed off the crossbar to make it 3-1.
Plata cut that lead back in half in the 67th minute on a great sequence that started on the right side. DF Tony Beltran crossed the ball in for Movsisyan at the edge of the six-yard box and he touched it back for Plata, who stung a shot past Rowe for his second goal of the night to make it 3-2.
Plata nearly completed the hat trick moments later when he headed a cross from right side in the 68th minute that forced Rowe into a fingertip save.
RSL continued to press for the equalizer, outshooting LA 10-1 over the final 26 minutes before Martinez netted the game-tying goal four minutes into stoppage time.
The play started when dos Santos got in behind RSL’s defense on a free kick and his shot was saved by Rimando coming off his line. On the ensuing exchanges of possession, Wingert won the ball back off of dos Santos and pushed it into the attack. After a few passes, Plata led Martinez up the left side into a 1v1 with Robbie Rogers. He cut to his right foot at the edge of the 18 and curled a bouncing shot that snuck under the diving Rowe and trickled into the net for the 94th-minute equalizer.
Real Salt Lake will take to the road to meet the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Providence Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT.
GAME NOTES – RSLvLA
- MF Kyle Beckerman returned from the U.S. National Team to make the start in his 400th career MLS appearance, becoming the first field player in league history to reach that milestone.
- MF Omar Holness missed Wednesday’s match after appearing with the Jamaican National Team on Tuesday in a 2-0 defeat to Haiti. It was his second cap and first in a World Cup qualifying match.
- Real Salt Lake last lost at home to the Galaxy on April 27, 2013. RSL is now 4-0-4 across all competitions at home against LA in that stretch.
- RSL now has earned points when coming from a losing position in 10 matches this season, with six wins and four draws after trailing in a match.
REAL SALT LAKE 3-3 LA GALAXY
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 3 3
LA Galaxy 1 2 3
LA: Emmanuel Boateng (Giovani dos Santos) 6’
RSL: Joao Plata (PK) 53’
LA: Giovani dos Santos (Baggio Husidic) 57’
LA: Giovani dos Santos 64’
RSL: Joao Plata (Yura Movsisyan, Tony Beltran) 67’
RSL: Juan Manuel Martinez (Joao Plata) 94+’
RSL: Chris Wingert (Caution; Foul) 2’
RSL: Kyle Beckerman (Caution; Foul) 17’
LA: Jeff Larentowicz (Caution; Foul) 26’
RSL: Jamison Olave (Caution; Foul) 27’
RSL: Luke Mulholland (Caution; Persistent Infringement) 63’
LA: Giovani dos Santos (Caution; Dissent) 95+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (John Stertzer 85’), Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Jordan Allen 63’); Juan Manuel Martinez, Javier Morales, Joao Plata; Yura Movsisyan.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Pedro Baez, Phanuel Kavita, Boyd Okwuonu, Sunday Stephen.
LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Brian Rowe; Robbie Rogers, Daniel Steres, Leonardo, Ashley Cole; Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget (Raul Mendiola 74’), Jeff Larentowicz, Emmanuel Boateng (Rafael Garcia 87’); Giovani dos Santos, Alan Gordon (Mike Magee 78’).
Substitutes not used: Dan Kennedy, A.J. DeLaGarza, Ariel Lassiter, David Romney.
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Danny Thornberry, Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
Weather: Clear and 82