SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It was another exhilarating start for Real Salt Lake, and another disappointing finish.
RSL jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the L.A. Galaxy, but could not hold it, as the Galaxy rallied for a 2-2 draw Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.’
Real Salt Lake now has four draws in eight home matches this season.
“I don’t have the answer,” said head coach Freddy Juarez when asked why his team has given up multiple leads at home this season. “It’s a combination of a lot of things. I don’t know that you could pinpoint one thing, but the guys have done fantastic jobs to get ahead of the game and to come out with energy. We talked about at halftime that the opponent is going to respond and those moments are where you have to be mentally stronger.”
Albert Rusnak opened the scoring in the 9th minute with his first goal this season in the run of play, his third goal of the year, blasting home a centering pass from Aaron Herrera.
Then in the 26th minute, Maikel Chang got off a wicked left-footed blast through a defender’s legs for his second career MLS goal to make it 2-0 Real Salt Lake.
The Galaxy got one back in the 33rd when Victor Vazquez found the corner of the net, beating RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa to make it 2-1 at the half.
It stayed that way until the 77th when Rayan Raveloson found the equalizer, heading in a pass from Julian Araujo to level the match at two.
“The results that we have at halftime are great, but the full time, they’re not good,” said Rusnak. “So we’ve got to concentrate a full 90 minutes and make sure that when we take the lead, we don’t always let the team come back into the game. It will be a short turnaround, a couple of days to go over the good and bad and prepare for another game on Saturday.”
“I think it’s a lack of concentration from the whole team,” added forward Rubio Rubin. “Just being more savvy, closing out games is important. Sometimes a 2-0 lead or even 2-1 is what we need to win. As much as we want to go forward and attack, when we attack with numbers that can result in a counter attack. Obviously we were fatigued, it was a midweek game, but there’s no excuse. We have to be savvy, we have to win these games and close them out. It’s just the reality, it cost us again today and cost us points. Obviously we are a much better team and at the end of the day we came out with a draw and it hurt us.”
RSL had a chance in stoppage time to win it, but Anderson Julio’s header bounced off the crossbar.
Ochoa made four saves for RSL, as the Galaxy had 12 shots on goal. Real Salt Lake got off 11 shots, four on frame.
RSL is now 4-4-5 on the season, 2-2-4 at home, and will next host the Colorado Rapids Saturday night at 8:00 at Rio Tinto STadium.