LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – Against his former team, Chicho Arango didn’t feel like celebrating. But Real Salt Lake nation sure did.
Arango’s header off a brilliant crossing pass from Rubio Rubin in the 72nd minute was the game-winner, as Real Salt Lake defeated LAFC Sunday night, 1-0.
After the goal, Arango didn’t celebrate with his teammates, but was rather solemn after scoring maybe the biggest goal of his RSL career. Arango was a part of LAFC’s MLS Cup championship team in 2022.
“There is a different gear that he was working from,” head coach Pablo Mastroeni said about Arango. “I felt it just appropriate that given his run of form, given his inspiration to the group, it’s fitting that he scores the winning goal against his old club.”
That was the 99th goal of Arango’s professional career.
With the victory, RSL (13-11-7) moves into a tie for second place with Seattle in the Western Conference standings with three games remaining.
Zac MacMath recorded his eighth clean sheet of the season, making seven saves.
“It’s a big win for the group,” said Mastroeni. “Given how much is at stake at this point in the season, I thought it was a fantastic performance. That’s what it’s all about, guys working extremely hard for one another.”
This is Real Salt Lake’s second victory over LAFC in 13 regular season meetings, and its first win at BMO Stadium. RSL also sets a franchise record with its seventh road victory of the season.
LAFC outshot Real Salt Lake 20-7 overall and 7-4 in efforts on target despite taking the loss. LAFC has now been shut out in three straight MLS matches, with the previous two shutouts being scoreless draws.
RSL next hosts Sporting Kansas City Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.