LOS ANGELES (Thursday, November 1, 2018) – Real Salt Lake advanced in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs after two goals from MF Damir Kreilach and some late defensive brilliance to hold off LAFC for a 3-2 win in the Knockout Round at Banc of California Stadium.
RSL will now host Sporting Kansas City on Sunday at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT with national television coverage on FS1. Tickets are available now by calling 844-REAL-TIX.
Real Salt Lake got out to an early lead thanks to a 21st minute goal from Kreilach. FW Jefferson Savarino and DF Brooks Lennon combined up the right side and Lennon whipped a cross to the middle of the box. There Kreilach chested it down to control it and fired a shot into the net for a 1-0 lead. That would be RSL’s only shot on target for the half and LAFC took a 7-3 shot advantage into the half. In the 31st minute, that advantage turned into an equalizer when Danilo Silva headed in a Carlos Vela free kick to make it 1-1.
The second half continue the frantic pace of the first half and initially it meant a lead for LAFC. Christian Ramirez hammered a left-footed shot past GK Nick Rimando in the 54th minute to make it 2-1, but RSL responded quickly. MF Albert Rusnák had his shot blocked, but the clearance only went as far as Kreilach who scored a leaping scissored volley for his second goal of the match to tie it up at 2-2 in the 58thminute. RSL then reclaimed the lead in the 69th minute when Kreilach played the ball wide for Savarino and he fired a shot toward the far post. It took a deflection off of Walker Zimmerman and into the net for what would prove to be the game-winning goal, sending RSL through to the Western Conference Semifinal.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Brooks Lennon) 21st minute – On a run up the right side, Brooks Lennon crossed the ball for Damir Kreilach in the middle of the box. He chested it down to settle it, then hammered a shot into the open net to give RSL the 1-0 lead.
LFC: Danilo Silva (Carlos Vela) 31st minute – On a free kick from the right side, Carlos Vela found the head of Danilo Silva and he thumped it in for the equalizer at 1-1.
LFC: Christian Ramirez (Lee Nguyen) 55th minute – Halftime substitute Christian Ramirez got into the box up the left side and hammered a shot under the cross bar to put LAFC up 2-1.
RSL: Damir Kreliach 58th minute – Albert Rusnák’s shot was deflected and when LAFC attempted to clear it, it only got as far as Damir Kreilach, who scored his second goal of the match on a jumping volley to even the score at 2-2.
RSL: Own Goal (Walker Zimmerman) 69th minute – Brooks Lennon made a run up the middle of the field and the ball was redirected to Damir Kreilach at the edge of the 18. He pushed it wide to Jefferson Savarino, whose shot deflected past Tyler Miller as RSL reclaimed the lead at 3-2.
Match: Real Salt Lake at LAFC
Western Conference Knockout Round
Date: November 1, 2018
Venue: Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, California
Weather: Clear and 69
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
LAFC 1 1 2
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Brooks Lennon) 21’
LFC: Danilo Silva (Carlos Vela) 31’
LFC: Christian Ramirez (Lee Nguyen) 55’
RSL: Damir Kreilach 58’
RSL: Own Goal (Walker Zimmerman) 69’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nedum Onuoha, Marcelo Silva, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Jefferson Savarino (Sunny 82’), Albert Rusnák (Justen Glad 97+’), Corey Baird (Joao Plata 59’); Damir Kreilach.
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Nick Besler, Sebastian Saucedo, Luis Silva.
LAFC (4-2-3-1): Tyler Miller; Steven Beitashour, Danilo Silva, Walker Zimmerman, Jordan Harvey; Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber (Eduard Atuesta 73’), Carlos Vela; Latif Blessing (Aaron Kovar 76’), Adama Diomande (Christian Ramirez 46’), Diego Rossi.
Subs not used: Luis Lopez, Dejan Jakovic, Joao Moutinho, Andre Horta.
Stats Summary: RSL / LFC
Shots: 4 / 21
Shots on Goal: 2 / 8
Saves: 6 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 10
Fouls: 20 / 9
Offside: 0 / 3
LFC: Carlos Vela (Caution) 26’
RSL: Aaron Herrera (Caution) 30’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Caution) 46+’
LFC: Walker Zimmerman (Caution) 47’
RSL: Corey Baird (Caution) 54’
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Caution) 75’
RSL: Sunny (Caution) 86’
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Logan Brown
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Kevin Stott