Commerce City, Colo. (Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (12-15-6, 42 pts) fell to Rocky Mountain Rival Colorado Rapids for the first time in three tries this season, 0-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to close its 2017 road schedule.
The match started furiously when the Rapids notched a goal in just the third minute, as Rapids midfielder Joshua Gatt finished off a great team passing move for his second goal of the year.
The second half saw RSL control most of the possession, creating numerous opportunities and forcing Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard into several key saves. The biggest opportunity of the second half came when MF Sebastian Saucedo's cross from the edge of the area found the head of MF Kyle Beckerman. His glancing header looked destined for the back of the net if it weren't for Howard's sprawling save.
On the night RSL registered 30 shots in the match, placing seven on frame while holding 71 percent of the possession, but was unable to break through a staunch Rapid's defense to bolster its playoff hopes.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will return home for a Decision Day matchup with West rival Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, with kickoff set for 2:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL are currently winless against Sporting this season, playing to a 3-0 loss in Kansas City in late April before a 1-1 draw in Sandy in July.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
COL – Joshua Gatt (Alan Gordon), 3rd minute: A clever back-heeled flick from Rapids striker Alan Gordon found the run of Gatt, whose first-time effort was tucked home past Rimando into the far post.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
COL – Tim Howard, 90'+3rd minute: A glancing header from RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman forced Howard into a sprawling save in stoppage time to deny an equalizer. Howard did well to dive to his left and hold onto the skipping header.
- The match against Colorado was the first time RSL has fallen to the Rapids in 2017 after winning the two previous matches this season, capturing the Rocky Mountain Cup for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons.
- RSL will now need to win its final match of the regular season Sunday against Sporting Kansas City and will need both FC Dallas and San Jose Earthquakes to draw or lose in order for Mike Petke's team to book a place in the MLS playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
Match: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids
Date: October 15, 2017
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colorado
Weather: Sunny and 63 degrees
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Real Salt Lake: (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (Demar Phillips, 28'), David Horst, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta (Sebastian Saucedo, 78'); Luke Mulholland, Kyle Beckerman, Joao Plata, Albert Rusnák, Brooks Lennon; Luis Silva
Subs not used: Matt Van Oekel, Chris Wingert, Chris Schuler, Sunny, Yura Movsisyan
Colorado Rapids: (4-5-1): Tim Howard; Marlon Hairston (Bobby Burling, 83'), Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller; Bismark Boateng, Mohammed Saeid, Joshua Gatt, Stefan Ainger, Dominic Badji (Mike da Fonte, 68'); Alan Gordon (Dillon Serna, 72')
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Luis Gil, Ricardo Perez
Stats Summary: COL/RSL
Shots: 2 / 30
Shots on Goal: 1 / 7
Saves: 7 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 11
Fouls: 13 / 10
Offside: 6 / 0
COL – Joshua Gatt (Alan Gordon), 3'
COL – Dominic Badji (caution) 24'
RSL – David Horst (caution) 43'
COL – Bismark Boateng (caution) 90'+5'
Referee: Armando Villareal
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
VAR: Rosendo Mendoza