Sandy, Utah (Saturday, September 1, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (13-10-5, 44 points) dismantled Western Conference rival LA Galaxy 6-2 on Saturday evening in front of a record-setting crowd of 21,363 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win sees Head Coach Mike Petke’s side remain in fourth place in the Western Conference standings ahead of the bye-week.
The match opened quickly for the visitors who struck within a minute of the opening whistle through Jonathan dos Santos who volleyed home from close range from an Ashley Cole cross for the early lead. RSL would respond in the 14th minute through MF Albert Rusnák who curled a low shot into the far side netting to even the affair at one apiece. RSL went on to control the remainder of the opening stanza before claiming the lead just before the halftime interval. DF Brooks Lennon played provider to MF Damir Kreilach who, after bringing the ball down neatly inside the box, headed home into an empty net after beating Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham to take the 2-1 lead into halftime.
One-way traffic ensued for the second half as it began almost entirely as the first ended when RSL doubled its advantage by way of FW Jefferson Savarino whose deflected effort from inside the box looped over Bingham in the Galaxy goal. In the 61st minute, RSL found a fourth when Rusnák and Kreilach combined to generate a three-goal advantage early in the second half. LA then found its second goal when Romain Alessandrini’s deflected shot skipped past GK Nick Rimando and into the net.
RSL moved on to score two goals in three minutes when Rusnak’s world-class volley from outside the area easily flew past Bingham for the fifth goal of the game in the 68th minute. Just three minutes later, Kreilach secured the first hat trick for RSL since May 2014 when he turned his shot in from inside the six-yard box.
The 6-2 victory sees RSL become the first-ever club to record back-to-back six-goal matches in Major League Soccer’s 23-year history. Salt Lake remains in fourth place in the Western Conference.
UP NEXT: After a weekend off for the international break, RSL will host Minnesota United on September 15 at Rio Tinto Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT. Minnesota won the previous matchup this season, 3-2 on July 14 at TCF Bank Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
LA: Jonathan dos Santos (Ashley Cole, Zlatan Ibrahomovic), 1st minute - Gathering the ball at the top of the area, Ibrahimovic gave the ball to Cole for a look at goal. Cole elected to cross the ball to the back post to find a wide-open dos Santos who coolly volleyed the ball home from close range.
RSL: Albert Rusnak (Joao Plata), 14th minute - After a quick passing exchange near midfield, Plata sprung forward at the Galaxy defense. Plata played an inch-perfect through ball to Rusnak to turned cleverly 20 yards from goal and curled a low shot into the far post.
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Brooks Lennon), 45th minute + 3 - A long diagonal ball played over the Galaxy back line from Lennon found the chest of Kreilach. Kreilach did well to bring the ball down, clip it over an onrushing Bingham and head into an empty net.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Sunny), 48th minute - A ball taken down well out of the air by Jefferson Savarino generated space for him to take a shot. Savarino got his shot away that took a drastic deflection to loop up and over Bingham in goal.
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Albert Rusnák), 61st minute - After an initial shot from Rusnák was blocked, he reclaimed the ball and found a streaking Kreilach inside the six-yard box who slid to tuck home his second of the match.
LA: Roman Alessandrini (Jonathan dos Santos), 64th minute - Moments after subbing into the match, Alessandrini found himself with space inside the box to have a shot. His effort took a deflection on the way through to pull a goal back for LA.
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Jefferson Savarino), 68th minute - Savarino broke down the right side of the field for RSL, serving up a perfect ball at the top of the area for Rusnák. The Slovakian midfielder decided to volley the ball straight out of the air, firing his second world-class goal of the evening past Bingham.
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Jefferson Savarino) 71st minute - Another blistering run from Savarino created space for a low cross that found the feet of Kreilach at the six-yard box, who touched home easily for the hat trick.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RSL: Nick Rimando, 45th minute - Springing free from the RSL back line, Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic laced a breakaway effort toward the back post. Rimando’s quick reactions pushed the ball past the post and out for a Galaxy corner kick.
- The match set a new stadium record for the highest-attended match with a standing-room-only crowd of 21,363, surpassing the previous high of 21,004 set on September 19, 2015 in a win over the LA Galaxy.
- MF Damir Kreilach’s hat trick was the first for RSL since Javier Morales scored three on the road against the Houston Dynamo in May, 2014.
- With his two goals, MF Albert Rusnák now has five goals in the last three matches.
- Real Salt Lake became the first team in MLS history to score six goals in back-to-back matches.
- The goal scored by Jonathan dos Santos at the 35-second mark was the earliest goal RSL has allowed at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- The match was delayed briefly around the 32nd minute when a duck flew onto the field. It remained on the field until a stoppage in play when it was corralled by stadium personnel.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy
Date: September 1, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 76 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 4 6
LA Galaxy 1 1 2
LA: Jonathan dos Santos (Ashley Cole, Zlatan Ibrahimovic) 1’
RSL: Albert Rusnak (Joao Plata) 14’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Brooks Lennon), 45’+3
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Sunny) 48’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Albert Rusnak) 61’
LA: Roman Alessandrini (Jonathan dos Santos), 64’
RSL: Albert Rusnak (Jefferson Savarino), 68’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Jefferson Savarino) 71’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Sunny; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Sebastian Saucedo 81’); Damir Kreilach (Corey Baird 88’).
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Danilo Acosta, Adam Henley, Shawn Barry, Luis Silva.
LA Galaxy (3-5-2): David Bingham; Jorgen Skjelvik, Dave Romney, Michael Ciani (Romain Alessandrini 63’), Rolf Fletscher; Servando Carrasco (Sebastian Lleget 55’), Ashley Cole, Perry Kitchen (Giovanni dos Santos 70’), Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan dos Santos
Subs not used: Justin vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Bradford Jamieson, Emmanuel Boateng
Stats Summary: RSL / LA
Shots: 22 / 10
Shots on Goal: 11 / 3
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 9 / 11
Offside: 3 / 2
LA: Perry Kitchen (caution) 35’
LA: Rolf Fletscher (caution) 64’
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, TJ Zablocki
4th Official: Marcos Deoliveira
Video Assistant Referee: Geoff Gamble