COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (ABC4 Sports) – Sam Johnson scored the go-ahead goal in the 53rd minute and Real Salt Lake beat Colorado 3-2 to hand the winless Rapids winless their eighth straight loss Saturday night.
Johnson took Damir Kreilach’s pass in an open space in the middle of the area, and fired home a shot that went through with a deflection off defender Lalas Abubakar.
“Whenever we have these games with teams that are rivals it’s always a tough game, said head coach Mike Petke. “It’s always a battle. It’s always nervy.”
RSL (4-6-1) took a 2-0 lead on goals by Albert Rusnák in the 25th and Corey Baird in the 27th. Rusnák scored on a penalty kick, and Baird settled a long ball from Nick Besler and finished with the outside of his foot.
“It had everything,” Rusnak said about the game. “Hard work and quality going forward. The effort and runs going forward and we knew when to possess the ball and when to go long. All of that with a little bit of luck we were able to get the win.”
Kellyn Acosta took advantage of a deflection to cut the deficit to 2-1 for the Rapids (0-9-2) in first-half stoppage time. Danny Wilson tied it with his first MLS goal, a close-range finish in the 47th.
RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna saved a penalty kick by Kei Kamara in the 59th minute. Kamara was 12 of 13 on penalties in his MLS career before the attempt.
“Andrew did phenomenal,” Petke said. “Andrew had a great stop there. To me, the game is always about ebbs and flows. It’s about changing the tide of the game – the feel of the game. Right there, the guys fed off of that and there were some good plays after that.”
Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad was shown a red card in the 35th minute that was downgraded to yellow after video review.