COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, May 11, 2019) – Real Salt Lake (4-6-1, 13 points) got two early goals, but needed a second-half goal and some late defensive stops to preserve a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the first match of the Rocky Mountain Cup at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.
MF Albert Rusnák, FW Corey Baird and FW Sam Johnson each scored and GK Andrew Putna had a second-half PK save for one of his three saves on the night to preserve the victory.
Dominating the first half of play, RSL found two quick goals midway through the half when Rusnák put away his fifth goal of the year in the 26th minute on a penalty before Baird’s clever breakaway effort doubled RSL’s lead just one minute later. Colorado pressed for its first goal and found it in second-half stoppage time when Kellyn Acosta fired home a botched RSL clearance to bring the halftime score to 2-1.
The Rapids came out flying into the second half carrying momentum from the first half to draw level in the 47th minute when Danny Wilson scored on an empty net after a corner kick. RSL fought back almost immediately however, finding its third goal of the night when Johnson roofed his shot from six yards out. In the 59th minute, Putna was faced with his toughest task of the night that he was equal to, stopping Kei Kamara’s penalty kick to keep RSL’s 3-2 lead intact and Salt Lake held on for the win.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns home for its first two-match home stretch of the 2019 season when it hosts Eastern Conference foe Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 18. Kickoff from Sandy is set for 1:00 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Albert Rusnák (PK), 26th minute: After video review judged Sebastian Saucedo to have been brought down inside the area, RSL earned the penalty. After missing a spot kick the match before, Rusnák dispatched the penalty for the go-ahead goal.
RSL: Corey Baird (Nick Besler), 27th minute: A ball played in over the top of the Rapids defense saw Baird take a wonderful touch to break into the box. Baird did well to lift the ball over the on-rushing Tim Howard to double RSL’s lead.
COL: Kellyn Acosta, 45th minute + 3: A ball played across the face of goal by Jonathan Lewis was not cleared properly by RSL as the ball fell near the penalty spot. Acosta cleaned up the rebound, slamming the ball home in first-half stoppage time.
COL: Danny Wilson, 47th minute: A corner kick from Colorado saw a headed effort cleared off the line originally but at the second time of asking Wilson slammed home to draw the match level.
RSL: Sam Johnson, 53rd minute: A clever ball from Aaron Herrera played into the path of Damir Kreilach was met by an even better from Kreilach to open space for the cross. His low-driven ball found the feet of Johnson who took a touch before slamming the ball into the roof of the net.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
COL: Sebastian Anderson, 20th minute: A save from Tim Howard fell to the feet of Albert Rusnák who looked to have an easy shot on goal. Rusnák’s rifled shot was saved well off the line from Anderson and turned away for a corner kick.
RSL: Andrew Putna, 59th minute: Facing Kei Kamara’s penalty, Putna was equal to the task, standing his ground to deny Kamara’s penalty that was bound for the middle of the goal.
- GK Nick Rimando (knee), DF Tony Beltran (knee), MF Kyle Beckerman (hamstring tightness) and MF Everton Luiz (knee) are out of action due to injury.
- MF Albert Rusnák now leads the team in goals in 2019 with five. RSL is now 16-2-1 when Rusnák scores since his arrival prior to the 2017 season.
- DF Justen Glad was initially shown a red card in the 33rd minute, but after video review, the call was changed to a yellow card.
Match: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids
Date: May 1, 2019
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and 57 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
Colorado Rapids 1 1 2
RSL: Albert Rusnák (PK) 26’
RSL: Corey Baird (Nick Belser) 27’
COL: Kellyn Acosta 45’+3
COL: Danny Wilson 47’
RSL: Sam Johnson 53’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Andrew Putna; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Nedum Onuoha, Donny Toia; Nick Besler, Damir Kreilach; Corey Baird (Brooks Lennon 78’), Albert Rusnák, Sebastian Saucedo (Joao Plata 68’); Sam Johnson (Marcelo Silva 84’)
Subs not used: Alex Horwath, Luke Mulholland, Justin Portillo, Jefferson Savarino
Colorado Rapids: (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard; Sebastian Anderson (Dillon Serna 84’), Deklan Wynne, Lalas Abubakar, Keegan Rosenberry; Jonathan Lewis (Nicolas Mezquida 66’), Sam Nicholson, Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Danny Wilson (Andre Shinyashiki 57’); Kei Kamara
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Tommy Smith, Cole Bassett, John Blomberg
Stats Summary: COL / RSL
Shots: 16 / 15
Shots on Goal: 6 / 7
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 8
Offside: 2 / 3
COL: Danny Wilson (caution) 32’
RSL: Justen Glad (caution) 35’
COL: Sebastian Anderson (caution) 64’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (caution) 76’
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Jason White
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Rosendo Mendoza
AVAR: Craig Lowry