Real Salt Lake was defeated by Atlanta United in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday, July 13, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. As RSL was never able to fully recover from a 2-0 deficit, they fell to Atlanta United. The loss drops RSL to fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 30 points and a record of 8-6-6 on the season and drops them to 2-6-3 on the road. RSL hasn’t won a game since June 18.
The First Half
After Atlanta started the match in RSL territory, Atlanta center-back Alan Franco took the first shot of the game, trying to launch a header into the goal. However, RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath made the leaping stop. Following the corner, Atlanta striker Ronaldo Cisneros sent the ball into the bottom-left corner of the post, giving Atlanta an early 1-0 lead.
Atlanta then took the next four shots of the game, being unable to knock them in, with MacMath picking up a pair of saves for RSL. After an attempt by RSL forward Rubio Rubín that was saved by Atlanta goalie Rocco Rios Novo, Atlanta’s Cisnero took it back and once again connected for the bottom-left corner to put Atlanta up 2-0 early.
RSL got revenge four minutes later with defender Johan Kappelhof heading the ball into the top-left corner, following an assist by Justin Meram, to cut the lead in half 2-1. The rest of the half went back-and-forth with MacMath making a leaping save against Atlanta’s Marcelino Moreno to end the half.
The Second Half
RSL came out of the half taking the first two shots, but both were denied. Both Atlanta’s Aiden McFadden and RSL’s Meram were close to getting some goals in, but MacMath and Novo, respectively, made the saves.
Atlanta midfielder Thiago Almada had a great look in the 64th minute, but hit the left post instead of making the goal. Atlanta would go on to miss their next two shots in the next 15 minutes.
RSL reserve forward Sergio Córdova took a laser beam of a shot in the 88th minute; however, Novo was able to make the save. RSL was able to keep the ball on the Atlanta side of the field with MacMath taking the final shot of the game. However, his shot went over the right corner, sealing the loss for RSL.
RSL now has a three-game losing streak on the road.
Atlanta led RSL in many categories, including possession (53.6% to 46.7%), shots (14 to 10), corners (five to four), clearances (46 to 16), and duels won (46 to 31). However, despite giving up two goals, RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath racked up five saves in an otherwise dominant performance. Atlanta goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo made three saves for Atlanta while Ronaldo Cisneros made both of the team’s goals.
RSL heads back home for a rematch against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, July 17, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Image courtesy of Dirty South Soccer.