Colorado Rapids 2, Real Salt Lake 3 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
The Colorado Rapids set a new MLS record for worst 11-game start to a season (0W-9L-2D) after falling to an eighth straight defeat in a highly entertaining Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night in Colorado.
The Rapids gamely rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game early in the second half, only to fall behind again and then see 119-goal-scorer Kei Kamara, responsible for half of Colorado's 14 goals entering the game, denied on a second-half penalty kick by RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna. The Rapids dropped to 0-2 under interim head coach Conor Casey.
In a game replete with Video Review decisions and possibilities, Colorado were even denied a 93rd-minute equalizer from on-loan newcomer Lalas Abubakar due to a narrow offside decision.
The win was the third in five games for Real Salt Lake (4W-6L-1D), who scored a highlight-reel goal to make it 2-0 when Nick Besler hit a fantastic long ball, brought down impeccably by 2018 Rookie of the Year Corey Baird, who then finished calmly with the outside of his right foot.
The game-winning goal came in the 50th minute when Damir Kreilach beat Deklan Wynne to the end line and dropped the ball back toward the middle of the penalty area, where Sam Johnson scrambled it in for his fourth goal in five games, helping Salt Lake get back above the playoff line in the Western Conference.
- 25' – RSL – Albert Rusnak (PK) | WATCH
- 27' – RSL – Corey Baird | WATCH
- 45'+3' – COL – Kellyn Acosta | WATCH
- 47' – COL – Danny Wilson | WATCH
- 50' – RSL – Sam Johnson | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: For all the momentum swings and controversies that featured in Commerce City on Saturday night, the result only served to reinforce Real Salt Lake’s status as playoff contenders and just how far Colorado are behind the pack when it comes to defending.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Real Salt Lake are used to clutch penalty-kick saves, but instead of Nick Rimando, it was Andrew Putna making the stop in the 59th minute, albeit from a Kei Kamara mis-hit.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Sam Johnson. It was not an overwhelming performance from Real Salt Lake or their Liberian Designated Player, but after demanding the ball following last week’s loss to Portland, Johnson made good on his promise by scoring the game-winning goal. He also delivered a dynamite 70-yard run from his own penalty area following a corner kick, leading to a chance Joao Plata ripped off the post. RSL had better get him the ball.
- COL: Sun., May 19 at LA Galaxy (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)
- RSL: Sat., May 18 vs. Toronto FC (3 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN, CTV in Canada)