PORTLAND (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake’s struggles are coming at the worst time of the season.
The Vancouver Whitecaps scored two second half goals to hand RSL its third straight loss Saturday night in their temporary home in Portland, 2-1.
“You’ve got to be men and you’ve got to not put your hands down,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. ” That’s life. There are situations that aren’t necessarily going your way and you can’t put your hands down and stop doing what you need to do to move forward.”
Damir Kreilach opened the scoring for RSL in the 37th minute with his team-leading 7th goal of the season to give RSL a 1-0 lead at the half.
But Real’s fortunes turned in the 71st minute as Douglass Martinez headed in an own goal to level the match at one.
Vancouver then took the lead three minutes later as RSL’s defense broke down, and Lucas Cavallini beat Andrew Putna to give the Whitecaps the lead for good.
“I just thought the second goal was very sloppy,” said Juarez. “Very sloppy. ery preventable and sloppy in the way that we handled it. Then we just showed the fight that we have and I’m never going to question that.”
“It’s tough,” added Kreilach. “It’s frustrating. But we’ve been in this situation the last two years and at the end of the day everything was good. The first half we did well. We did exactly what we wanted. They didn’t create a lot and we were leading 1-0. Second half, I don’t know what happened but we didn’t get a good reaction and that’s what cost us the posts. We have to keep our heads up. “
After failing to put a single shot on frame Wednesday night in Seattle, RSL put three of its eight shots on target, but could not find the equalizer in the second half.
RSL (4-7-6) falls to 11th place in the Western Conference, but is just one point out of the final playoff spot with six games remaining.
“Obviously very disappointed,” said defender Justen Glad. ” I think the whole team felt like we had that game and then it just slipped away from us. The own goal was super unfortunate. We’ve just got to close out that game.”
Real Salt Lake next hosts Portland Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.