SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Playing with 10 men for the final 27 minutes, Real Salt Lake surrendered a late goal in the 84th minute in a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in its second straight home loss.
Real Salt Lake out-shot Vancouver 25-8, and dominated possession at 63 percent, but could not capitalize on its many scoring chances.
“It’s frustrating,” head coach Freddy Juarez said. “I thought that in the first half, we dominated, but it was a little too slow, just not aggressive enough. Two things happened. They gained a little bit of life, and they felt like they were in the game. That’s okay, but then you have to make sure you don’t give up goals like we did, that you continue to keep going and keep going and not give away anything cheaply. Sometimes these games are tough because the opponent is playing for a result. If you give them an opportunity to sneak one, they will. I thought we controlled a lot of facets. I don’t think it was aggressive enough, even after we went down a man. Two red cards in the last two games? We’re better than that. We’re more mature than that. We’ll get after it.”
RSL had 13 shots in the first half, compared to just two for Vancouver, but neither team could find the back of the net in a scoreless first 45 minutes.
In the 53rd minute, Vancouver found the night’s opening goal through David Milinkovic whose first-time effort at the near post left Andrew Putna going the opposite direction with no chance to make a save.
In the 63rd minute, RSL was reduced to 10 men when Kyle Beckerman was given a second yellow card after video review for inadvertently kicking goalkeeper Thomas Hasal in the head trying to make a play for the ball.
Despite being shorthanded, RSL clawed its way back into the match and found its equalizer when Justin Meram headed home a cross from Maikel Chang in the 81st minute for his third goal of the season.
But the good feeling was short-lived, when Lucas Cavallini scored in the 84th minute on a pass from Freddy Montero to give Vancouver the victory.
“It feels like they had two opportunities and they took them,” said defender Nedum Onuoha.
Aside from that, I didn’t feel like we were pinned in at all. It was obviously a lot better than the game before. Disappointed to lose and to give up two goals, but I think defensively we were pretty solid. It is what it is.”
“I don’t know a game this year that we’re not creating chances,” Meram said. “That’s a positive. Now it’s putting more than one goal in the back of the net. It’s the same story a little bit. We give up the first goal, then claw back a little way and find our way. Collectively we’ve just got to be a little bit better not conceding, especially at home.”
Real Salt Lake (3-4-5) falls below the playoff line in 11th place in the Western Conference. RSL next hosts the LA Galaxy Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m.