Real Salt Lake 0, LA Galaxy 0 | MLS Match Recap
SANDY, Utah – Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake got the last laugh in a captivating goalkeeping duel against Jaime Penedo and the LA Galaxy as the teams battled to a scoreless draw on a soggy Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
It was Rimando who turned away a Juninho penalty kick in second-half stoppage time to preserve the draw for RSL, the highlight of the match that saw the two ‘keepers combine for nine saves.
The share of points creates little separation in the log jam that is the Western Conference, with the Galaxy now sitting in fourth place with 14 points from 10 matches and RSL not far behind with 11 from nine games.
The teams seemed stuck in the mud much of the night, perhaps understandable considering the 62-minute delayed start due to lightning strikes in the area. The first flash showed itself right at the apex of the pregame national anthem.
RSL registered the only shot on goal in the opening half but not for a lack of aggressiveness as evidenced by their seven offside calls.
Luke Mulholland almost opened the scoring for the home side in the 53rd minute when he single-handedly dribbled into the box and laced a shot destined for the back post. Penedo had other ideas and jabbed the shot out of the air. RSL’s follow-up attempt seconds later from forward Devon Sandoval was put straight at the Panamanian who easily collected.
The Galaxy nearly snagged a goal against the run of play in the 66th minute when forward Alan Gordon directed a header on frame. It looked like the attempt would kiss off the underside of the crossbar, but Rimando leaped and directed it up and over for the corner kick.
An action-packed sequence in the 70th minute saw both sides have an opportunity at breaking the deadlock.
An aggressive misplay by RSL defender Demar Philips allowed a Gordon chance at the back post, but Rimando was able to collect again.
On the other end, just seconds later, RSL youngster Jordan Allen lofted a ball to a streaking Sandoval who was able to touch it to Alvaro Saborio. The forward laced a shot on goal but was denied yet again by Penedo.
Penedo still wasn’t finished.
In the 77th minute, LA defender Leonardo slipped and gave Saborio a clear path toward goal. But Penedo laid out on Saborio’s deflected shot attempt to deny the home side yet again and preserve the scoreline.
Everything would change in stoppage time.
The Galaxy were awarded a free kick from 25 yards out after referee Jose Carlos Rivero whistled RSL defender Jamison Olave for a foul. On the resulting free kick, LA center back Omar Gonzalez went sprawling to the turf and Rivero pointed to the spot, giving the Galaxy a penalty minutes before the end of the match.
But Rimando guessed correctly on the spot attempt by second-half substitute Juninho, parrying the shot away and sending the crowd into a roar to save the point and secure his 118th career shutout.
Both teams are back in action this weekend, with RSL playing Saturday at the Chicago Fire and LA at FC Dallas on the same day.