Real Salt Lake eliminated from playoff contention after 2-1 loss to L.A. Galaxy

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Real Salt Lake eliminated from playoff chase for first time since 2017

CARSON, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake’s playoff hopes are officially over.

Giancarlo Gonzalez and Cristian Pavon scored goals in each half for the L.A. Galaxy, as RSL was eliminated from playoff contention with a 2-1 loss.

Douglas Martinez ended Real Salt Lake’s three-game scoring drought with a header in the 78th minute, but it was not enough to save RSL’s season.

“I’m disappointed,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. “I’m disappointed that there were some very close games that we just couldn’t put away, very similar games to these. We feel like we’re the better team, we had a pretty good grasp of the game and just aren’t lethal enough or ruthless enough to keep the ball out of the net but also to have a little more quality and composure when attacking their goal.”

After Colorado beat Seattle earlier in the night, 3-1, RSL knew it had to beat the Galaxy to keep its playoff hopes alive.

But the Galaxy got off to a quick start, executing a perfect set piece in the 18th minute, with Sebastian Lletget sending a ball to Gonzalez, who redirected it with a header past RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna.

Corey Baird nearly had an equalizer early in the second half, chipping the ball over Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham, but Gonzalez raced back with a leaping kick, clearing the ball off the line.

In the 65th minute, Pavon ran through the RSL defense on a long solo run before finishing to make it 2-0.

RSL briefly got back in the match when Justin Meram whipped in a cross that Martinez headed in for his third goal of the season. But that was it for the RSL attack.

“It’s hard to find the words,” said forward Damir Kreilach. “We are disappointed with this year and frustrated as well because I think we played a solid match. First of all, I want to apologize to the fans for the team because we didn’t reach the playoff spot that we wanted this year.”

“I’m very disappointed,” added defender Justen Glad. “I think we had plenty of opportunities this year to get results and pick up points. We failed to do so and I speak for the whole team when I say we’re upset and it’s very disappointing.”

Real Salt Lake (5-9-7) will wrap up the regular season November 8th at home against Sporting Kansas City.

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