SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After a three-week international break, the wait was worth it for Real Salt Lake fans.
RSL scored two goals in stoppage time, the go-ahead goal by Erik Holt, to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto Stadium Friday night, 3-1.
Damir Kreilach scored two goals in the match to bring his team-leading tally to five, while Holt’s header off a pass from Aaron Herrera in the second minute of extra time proved to be the game-winner.
Holt had just subbed into the game in the 68th minute.
“I can’t even put it into words, I can’t believe it,” Holt said. “I had an opportunity against Nashville to help win the game there and I’m so happy I could tonight. I’m just so happy, so humbled and proud of the team. I can’t explain it.”
“The subs came and added some energy,” said head coach Freddy Juarez. “I felt that Vancouver was very good in the second half and they put us under. We were very good in the first half. In the last 15 minutes we were the better team – we were pushing, we were creating. We got the go-ahead goal and then a fantastic third goal from Meram deciding to cross the perfect ball. We talked about the second post being on in this game and he put it in there. We had Rubio and Damir attack it and when you have numbers attack any cross, it’s always trouble for the opponent and we got a goal out of it.”
Kreilach broke a scoreless deadlock in the 43rd minute when on a low shot off a heel pass from Albert Rusnak found the back of the net.
Vancouver found the equalizer in the 55th minute on a goal from Brian White, whose one-touch finish at the back post beat RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa. After multiple stoppages in play late in the second half, seven minutes of added time were announced as RSL pressed for the winner.
After Holt provided the go-ahead goal, Kreilach added the insurance goal just three minutes later when his diving header crept into the back of the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time to solidify the 3-1 victory.
“Anytime we can get three points, especially at home, we’re going to be happy about it,” Kreilach said. “Overall the most important this is that we found a way to win and that’s what it’s all about. We’re moving forward and we’ll look to see where we made mistakes, especially in the second half because we didn’t want to make those mistakes. That’s part of the game and like I said that the most important thing we did tonight is find a way to get the three points.”
The announced crowd of 15,109 provided energy the team fed off of.
“The fans were amazing,” Juarez said. “They were loud today. Thank you, fans.”
Real Salt Lake (3-1-3) next plays at Seattle Wednesday, June 23rd at 7:30 p.m.