by Brayden Palmer
Real Salt Lake faced off against the Los Angeles Galaxy at home Wednesday night in a
match that ended in a frustrating draw.
RSL took the lead early in the ninth minute through captain Albert Rusnák. Aaron Herrera picked out a low cross towards Rusnák to pick up his sixth assist of the season. That’s good enough to place Herrera second in assists on the MLS leaderboard. Rusnák hit the bottom corner of the goal to get his third goal of the season.
RSL struck again in the 25th minute to take the 2-0 lead. Maikel Change, who was the only change in the starting lineup from Saturday’s 1-2 loss to LAFC, made a long, darting run through several defenders to reach the top of the box. He caught LA keeper Jonathan Bond wrong-footed and sliced a spectacular shot into the corner.
It only took a few minutes for the Galaxy to get one back off a beautiful shot from Víctor Vázquez. RSL gave the ball away in the middle of the field and LA showed no mercy, punishing the hosts with a perfectly curled ball into the top 90.
RSL survived the rest of the first half to keep the lead and regroup in the locker room. The home side came out much stronger to start the second half, and had several great chances to regain the two-goal lead. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the back of the net and allowed the Galaxy to do just that.
With pressure mounting against RSL, the away team sent in a cross from out wide to find the head of Rayan Raveloson in the 77th minute. The midfielder got up high in the air and smashed the ball with enough power to beat David Ochoa in goal.
Real Salt Lake made slight tactical adjustments to try and win back the lead, but the game-winner was elusive through the end despite a brilliant chance near the death by Anderson Julio.
Julio, who came off the bench for RSL, headed a deflected clearance off the crossbar in the 94th minute. The team was left wondering how the shot didn’t sink into the back of the net as the referee blew the final whistle to cap off the long night.
The result leaves RSL having earned only five points from their last six games. They now sit below the playoff line in eighth place.
The team now faces a short rest and another game on Saturday vs the Colorado Rapids. Head Coach Freddy Juarez will have to find a way to start earning points at home if the squad wants a chance to compete in the playoffs.
Featured image via Rick Egan, Salt Lake Tribune