Real Salt Lake Surrenders Point At Home Against Improved Whitecaps

Aug 20, 2022, 10:06 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2022, 1:54 pm
Sergio - Cordova - Celebrates - Goal - Versus - Vancouver...
Sergio Córdova celebrates following his 61st minute goal in the match against Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto Stadium on August 20, 2022. (Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)
(Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has settled for a point against Vancouver Whitecaps following a disappointing late goal from the visitors at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.

The fixture ended 1-1.

Manager Pablo Mastroeni went into the fixture unchanged from a week ago when RSL was able to pull off the upset at Lumen Field in the 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders.

It was the 13th consecutive game this season in which Rio Tinto Stadium reached a capacity crowd. A drastic change under new ownership.

The fixture against Vancouver began with both clubs looking to initiate the tempo and speed of the game, something you do not see often at Rio Tinto Stadium. Nevertheless, the Whitecaps looked to be the aggressor and nearly opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes when Lucas Cavallini scored after dribbling around Zac MacMath but the nearside referee raised his flag and Cavallini was ruled offside.

Cavallini was the focal point for the Whitecaps in the attacking third, as the big, strong, and physical center forward increasingly became more difficult to muster for the RSL defenders.

Real Salt Lake was also finding creative play, specifically down their right side through the likes of Aaron Herrera and Maikel Chang. Sergio Córdova, who has scored in consecutive games ahead of this evening’s clash, was determined not to let Cavallini steal the show and proved dangerous whenever he neared the football.

In the 52nd minute, Córdova streaked down the right wing before laying a ball off for Jefferson Savarino on the top of the box, Savarino hit the ball with his left foot forcing Whitecaps goalkeeper Thomas Hasal to make a diving left-handed save.

Three minutes later, RSL broke on a counter-attack and Justin Meram weighted a perfect pass onto Savarino who took one touch before unleashing a right-footed strike off the crossbar, back onto Córdova’s feet before being cleared by Vancouver.

Real Salt Lake was able to slow down the tempo in the second half and disallowed Vancouver to turn the match into a track meet, which is what unfolded throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Löffelsend received the ball in the midfield before picking out Córdova who had made a run in behind the defense. Córdova took a touch, and cut back onto his right foot, sending a defender flying, before beating Hasal and scoring the game’s opening goal.

It was the third consecutive game in which Córdova has scored and he now leads the team in goals scored by two with a total of seven.

Mastroeni looked to close the match out when he introduced Erik Holt for Córdova and the move backfired when Holt was outjumped by Whitecap substitute Julian Gressell in the 87th minute to equalize.

The late concession granted Vancouver a point on the road and produced a result that felt more like a loss than a draw for Real Salt Lake.

The point keeps RSL in the fifth position in the Western Conference, four points clear of the L.A. Galaxy and three points shy of Minnesota United.

Next Real Salt Lake Match

Real Salt Lake will head on the road for an important Western Conference clash against FC Dallas on Saturday, August 27. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL SPorts and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

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