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Real Salt Lake 0, Colorado Rapids 0 | MLS Match Recap

SANDY, Utah -- Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon in the first of three Rocky Mountain Cup matches between the two rival clubs this year.

The Rapids were inches away from stealing a full three points at Rio Tinto Stadium but Dillon Powers hit a penalty kick wide right in the 89th minute as Colorado (2-4-8) remained winless in their last three.

Real Salt Lake (4-5-6), who looked prime to score for much of the afternoon, are also winless in their last three.

The late drama occurred when RSL defender Aaron Maund was whistled for the penalty in the 88th minute after kicking out at Rapids forward Luis Solignac in the box. But Nick Rimando, just back from international duty with the US national team, helped keep the match level, perhaps getting into Powers’ head due to his PK-stopping prowess. The standout RSL goalkeeper has only conceded two goals on five penalty kicks this season.

After the botched penalty attempt from the Rapids, RSL had a few chances to try and salvage a win. Javier Morales had the best opportunity right at the death, but the final shot of the match went wide of the mark as both teams walked away with a point.

The match didn’t exactly start out as RSL head coach Jeff Cassar would have liked as defender Jamison Olave attempted a long ball over the top and came up lame, exiting the match for Maund in the sixth minute. But the home side rebounded nicely and looked creative and dangerous in the attack for much of the contest pitting the two teams sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference table.

RSL nearly got on the board in the 24th minute after forward Sebastian Jaime was played in behind the defense. But Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made a save and Joao Plata had an attempt blocked after a flurry in the box.

Plata had a great game in his first home start of the season after being sidelined earlier in the year. But Plata and the RSL attack just couldn’t solve the center back pairing of Axel Sjoberg and Bobby Burling, who made a great slide tackle to dispossess Plata in the box in the 59th minute.

Absent finishing from both sides would be the theme of the day. Besides the glaring penalty miss, there were a total of 31 shots during the match, but only two of them were on frame, one for each side.

Both teams return to action for US Open home games on June 16 with the Rapids facing Switchbacks FC and Real Salt Lake welcoming Sounders 2.

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