SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After allowing four goals in the second half at Minnesota on Friday, Real Salt Lake put the clamps down on high-scoring LAFC in a dominant 4-0 victory Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Damir Kreilach scored RSL’s first goal in the 9th minute off a beautiful entry pass from Mikael Chang for Kreilach’s team-leading 5th goal of the season.
It stayed that way until the 47th minute when Justin Meram worked his way through a sea of LAFC defenders in the box for his second goal in an RSL uniform.
Albert Rusnak capped the scoring in the 79th minute on a penalty kick after Jordan Harvey was called for a handball in the box.
“Once we scored the first goal, the other team has to open up and there’s just more space to hit them on a counter-attack,” Rusnak said. “They start throwing bodies forward and we’re able to exploit the space behind.”
RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna, who has had some rough outings this season, had a career-high eight saves to earn the clean sheet.
“It was a team clean sheet, really,” Putna said. “It makes me feel more confident obviously after a performance like this. But it’s just about working hard in training and almost forgetting about those mistakes because as a goalkeeper you have to have a short memory.”
Real Salt Lake had 19 total shots, while LAFC had 18, with each team putting eight shots on frame.
Real Salt Lake (3-2-5) next hosts Colorado Saturday night at 7:30 at Rio Tinto Stadium.