RSL vs COL: Game Recap

Sandy, Utah (Saturday, April 21, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (3-3-1, 10 points) scored three goals in the final minutes of the match to sprint past the 10-man Colorado Rapids and take the first match in the Rocky Mountain Cup 3-0.
FW Joao Plata, MF Damir Kreilach and MF Albert Rusnák each scored while GK Nick Rimando earned his 199th career MLS victory with the shutout, his second clean sheet of the season.  The win was RSL’s third straight at Rio Tinto Stadium and came after Colorado had goalkeeper Tim Howard sent off in the 20th minute.
On the play, Real Salt Lake sprung into the attack and FW Jefferson Savarino was left with just Howard to beat.  In rushing to defend the shot outside the box, Howard deflected the ball with his arm, drawing the ejection.  RSL would go on to outshoot Colorado 11-7 in the first half, but Zac MacMath was up to the task and kept the match scoreless going into halftime.
The second half saw more dominance from RSL, with the home side holding an 18-5 shot advantage in the final frame.  However, it wasn’t until a penalty in the 82nd minute that Real Salt Lake finally claimed the lead.  Referee Joseph Dickerson went to video review on a scuffle in the box to determine that Tommy Smith handled the ball and Dickerson awarded the penalty.  Plata hammered the PK past MacMath for his third goal of the season and RSL was off to the races.  In the 89th minute, Rusnák sent a long ball over the top to Kreilach on the left side of the box.  He took a touch and ripped a shot inside the far post for his first MLS goal to make it 2-0.  Finally in second-half stoppage time, Rusnák stepped over a free kick from 25 yards out on the right side and curled an immaculate shot around the wall and inside the near post, catching MacMath leaning the wrong way to make it 3-0.
UP NEXT: RSL goes back on the road to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the second time this month after posting a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 7.  Friday’s rematch kicks off from BC Place at 8:30 p.m. MT.
RSL: Joao Plata (PK) 82’ – On a scramble in the box, the Rapids were called for a handball in the box after video review.  Joao Plata ripped his shot past goalkeeper Zac MacMath for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Albert Rusnák) 89’ – Albert Rusnák bypassed the Colorado defense with a pinpoint switching ball over the top to Damir Kreilach on the left side of the box.  He collected the ball and sent a laser back across the goal mouth to find the net inside the far post for his first MLS goal and a 2-0 lead.
RSL: Albert Rusnák 92+’ – Albert Rusnák lined up over a free kick from 25 yards out on the right side and curled it around the wall and inside the near post to beat Zac MacMath, who could do little but watch it hit the net for Rusnák’s second goal of the year and the final 3-0 tally.
COL: Zac MacMath, 23rd minute – Just moments after stepping onto the field, Zac MacMath was tested by a shot from Joao Plata directly off the free kick, forcing the Colorado goalkeeper to dive to his right to parry the dipping shot away for a corner kick.
COL: Zac MacMath, 24th minute – On the ensuing corner kick, Damir Kreilach got his head to the ball and was denied from close range by the alert Zac MacMath.
COL: Zac MacMath, 36th minute – On another RSL corner kick, Justen Glad headed the ball down and Kyle Beckerman had a sliding attempt on goal, but Zac MacMath made a quick reaction save to keep the match scoreless.
- DF Nick Besler made his MLS debut in starting at center back for Real Salt Lake.  The former Real Monarchs captain is the sixth player to make their RSL debut this season, joining FW Corey Baird, DF Shawn Barry, DF Adam Henley, MF Damir Kreilach and FW Alfredo Ortuno.
- This week, MLS players will wear special adidas kits, built of technical yarns made using Parley Ocean Plastic.  Each jersey is crafted using Parley Ocean Plastic upcycled from plastic waste intercepted on beaches and in coastal communities.
- RSL played without eight players due to injury.  GK Alex Horwath (Achilles), DF Shawn Barry (knee), DF Tony Beltran (knee), DF David Horst (knee), DF Taylor Peay (knee), DF Marcelo Silva, MF Luke Mulholland (hamstring), FW Jordan Allen (knee)
- RSL had two players on loan with Real Monarchs in the USL.  MF Jose Hernandez and FW Ricky Lopez-Espin.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids
Date: April 21, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Attendance: 17,461
Weather: Sunny and 66
Scoring Summary:                           1              2              F 
Real Salt Lake                                     0              3              3
Colorado Rapids                               0              0              0
RSL – Joao Plata (PK) 82’
RSL – Damir Kreilach (Albert Rusnák) 89’
RSL – Albert Rusnák 92+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad, Nick Besler, Danilo Acosta (Pablo Ruiz 46’); Damir Kreilach, Kyle Beckerman; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Adam Henley 93+’); Luis Silva (Corey Baird 69’).
Subs not used: Connor Sparrow, Aaron Herrera, Sunny, Alfredo Ortuno.
Colorado Rapids: (4-3-3): Tim Howard; Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith; Bismark Boateng, Johan Blomberg Jack Price, Enzo Martinez (Shkelzen Gashi 68’), Edgar Castillo; Jack McBean (Zac MacMath 22’), Dominique Badji (Yannick Boli 76’).
Subs not used: Danny Wilson, Kip Colvey, Dillon Serna, Micheal Azira.
Stats Summary: RSL / COL
Shots: 29 / 12
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 8 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 15
Offside: 4 / 3
COL – Tim Howard (ejection) 20’
COL – Dominique Badji (caution) 32’
RSL – Nick Besler (caution) 75’
COL – Yannick Boli (caution) 77’
COL – Tommy Smith (caution) 81’
COL – Bismark Boateng (caution) 91+’
Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Chico Grajeda
Video Assistant Referee: Ricardo Salazar