SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After dominating the game, being turned away on numerous scoring chances, Damir Kreilach finally found the back of the net in stoppage time, as Real Salt Lake was able to salvage a point in its home opener against New York, 1-1.
Cristian Casseres Jr. gave the Red Bulls the early lead in the 13th minute with a shot to the corner of the net to beat RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
RSL blistered the New York defense with 21 shots, six on frame, compared to just four total shots for New York, but were turned away time after time.
“We played well and we dominated the game,” Kreilach said. “We controlled the game, and our attitude was unbelievable, we pulled for each other. I think that we deserved a lot more than we took from this game, but we have to stay positive and look forward to the next game.”
“Super happy with the group, we’ve been training trying to be a little bit more vertical when it’s on,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. “To be vertical you’ve got to have some players that can be effective in that, in that manner with speed and all that. And I think when we made some substitutes and adjusted instead of just having two players, all of a sudden it became three front runners that are very dangerous with their speed and that’s what we’ve been training. It’s not always easy to do that.”
It appeared as though Real would level the match when Douglass Martinez headed in a goal off of a pass from Albert Rusnak. But video review ruled that the ball came off of Martinez’ arm, nullifying the goal.
But in the 92nd minute, Kreilach was unmarked in the box, and Aaron Herrera found him on a perfect centering pass for RSL’s first goal of the season.
As well as RSL played, the team was still disappointed to not come away with the victory.
“It is disappointing, but I think the fact that we didn’t lose the game is probably going to be seen as a positive,” said defender Nedum Onuoha. “It wasn’t a perfect game by us, it wasn’t a perfect game by them, but we did have a lot of chances and we stayed true to our game plan and we were committed. I think the commitment is probably the biggest thing which we’ve had this preseason for the first two games. It seems like something that is gonna take us through for the end of the year because you know that’s our character. The quality really improved but the commitment’s always gonna be there, so it’s something to take away from a game like this.”
Real Salt Lake (0-0-2) next plays at Columbus March 14th at 3:00 p.m.