COLUMBUS (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake got off to a disastrous start, and by the time they started to rally, it was too late.
Gyasi Zardes and Eduardo Sosa scored in the first half, and the Columbus Crew held on to defeat RSL, 2-1 on Saturday to end a five-game winless streak for the Crew.
Zardes scored on a penalty kick in the sixth minute, and Sosa made it 2-0 in the 23rd before Albert Rusnak’s goal for RSL in the 74th.
The loss drops Real Salt Lake to 7-8-2 on the season, still above the playoff line in 5th place in the Western Conference.
Columbus had three ties and two losses in its previous five games but was able to score for the first time in five halves with some help from RSL in the fourth minute.
Crew midfielder Luis Argudo was knocked to the ground by RSL defender Danilo Acosta, and the original call for a penalty kick was upheld after a review.
Zardes got his team-high 11th goal by converting from the spot for the second time in three chances this season.
Sosa doubled the score in his first MLS start. He one-touched a service from Pedro Santos to the back of the net from 15 yards.
Crew goalkeeper Jon Kempin, starting for the second straight match for injured 2018 MLS All-Star Zack Steffen (knee), was tested by Rusnak in the 28th on a free kick and again in the 68th when Rusnak tried to go to the near post.
Rusnak finally got his fourth goal of the season off an entry pass by Joao Plata but it wasn’t enough to prevent RSL from dropping to 1-7-1 on the road this season.
RSL is 0-8-1 in Columbus in the regular season since 2006.
Real Salt Lake hosts Sporting Kansas City on July 4.