MINNEAPOLIS (ABC4 Sports) – For the third time this season, Real Salt Lake failed to score a goal against Minnesota United.
But for the second time, RSL also did not give up a goal in another scoreless draw Sunday night.
Andrew Putna made seven saves in recording his second straight clean sheet, as Real Salt Lake earned a point on the road.
Real Salt Lake stays above the playoff line in 8th place with a record of 4-4-6.
“It was a hard game, a hard-fought match,” said RSL head coach Freddy Juarez. “You could see some fatigue in us. Tactically we had to adjust some things, but also maybe individually fatigued where we were not as sharp with the ball. I thought we got better as the game went on and Minnesota really brought it to us. We had to really dig deep as individuals and as a group to get this result. You always want to win, but when you the team is together and you see guys come in and tackle, it’s in the right direction. We accumulated a point and that is all you can ask for.”
RSL snapped a two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over the L.A. Galaxy in which Putna had to make just one save.
Sunday, Putna faced many more chances in notching his third shutout of the season.
“We just got it done by grinding the tie out,” Putna said. “Some of these game on the road are tough and that’s what you’ve got to do. It was a tough slippery night, we had a lot of blocks. Guys fought for it, so we’ll take it.”
Real Salt Lake outshot Minnesota 5-2 in the first half, but neither team was able to get on the scoresheet as Putna made one save and Dayne St. Clair stopped two long-range shots to keep the match scoreless heading into halftime.
Putna made two early saves on Emanuel Reynoso in the opening minutes of the second half. RSL would press for the winner throughout the half, but neither team was able to break the stalemate and RSL left with a point in a scoreless draw.
“I think the point means a lot, but the last two games we’ve been focusing on not giving up goals, because the games before we were leaking goals,” Putna said. “We figure as long as we don’t concede then we can give ourselves a good chance to either win the game or pick up a point on the road. I think we had opportunities tonight to win the game, but sometimes it just doesn’t fall your way, but at least we didn’t concede, and we’ll take the point.”
Real Salt Lake next hosts LAFC Sunday night at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m.