SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake out-shot and out-played the Columbus Crew, but had to settle for a disappointing 2-2 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Ola Kamara scored twice on the only two shots the Crew put on goal, as Columbus escaped with one point.
Real Salt Lake put 7 of its 20 shots on frame, but could not convert more than twice.
“You always want to win, the plan was to win,” said acting head coach Freddy Juarez, who replaced the suspended Mike Petke. “But you also, right now we are in a situation where we’ve got to collect points. Anytime we are playing a game we have to come up with hopefully three, but one at least. We created chances and spotted from an early deficit and had a chance to win. Not happy with the whole game but parts of it.”
Kamara opened the scoring in the 15th minute as Connor Maloney sent a pass through the legs of defender Justen Glad to Kamara, who beat Nick Rimando to give the Crew a 1-0 lead.
After several scoring chances went by the wayside in the first half, including an empty net attempt by Luis Silva, RSL got on the board in the 50th minute of the second half.
A handball by Josh Williams inside the box resulted in a penalty kick for Joao Plata, who scored his sixth goal of the season to level the match at one goal a piece.
Then just three minutes later, Silva sent a long pass to Jefferson Savarino, who tracked it down and beat goalkeeper Zack Steffan for his third goal of the season to give RSL the lead.
But it was short-lived. in the 60th minute, Ethan Finlay was able to maneuver around Rimando only to hit the crossbar with his shot. But Kamara was all alone for the rebound and scored his second goal of the game to tie the game at two.
RSL had several chances to take the lead, including one shot by Albert Rusnak that hit the post.
“Goals change games and even though we struggled in the first half, in the second we had three golden opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of,” said captain Kyle Beckerman, who returned from a red card suspension. “It’s a bummer because we did enough to win tonight.”
“I think Freddy did well, very well, and that is why he was the one that was put in charge,” said Petke. who received a red card during Saturday’s draw against Sporting Kansas City. “He is my right-hand man, he knows the game inside and out. I lean on him heavily for tactics, he gives me a different perspective on things, he calms me down when I need to be calmed down. I thought he handled himself very well out there.”
So, Real has to settle for one point for the second consecutive home game and goes to 7-12-4 on the season.
RSL wraps up its 3-game homestand next Saturday against Houston at Rio Tinto Stadium.