SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After two scoreless games last week, Real Salt Lake’s offense erupted for three goals against New York City FC, and is now back above the playoff line in the Western Conference.
Albert Rusnák, Jefferson Savarino and Nick Besler scored goals, while Kyle Beckerman had two assists to help Real Salt Lake beat New York City FC 3-1 on Saturday night.
After falling behind on an early goal by Alexander Rig in the fourth minute, RSL stormed back for its first come-from-behind victory of the season.
“We just weren’t super clean in the very beginning and it ended up costing us a goal,” Beckman said. “I thought that after they scored, we really came into the game. We were able to get them back. Then it was just about scoring a goal and keeping that momentum going. It just has be cleaner.”
“It was just a sloppy start, collectively as a team and one of the mistakes led to their goal,” said Rusnak, who is now tied for the team lead with eight goals this season. “But at halftime, we said we have to find a way to get the three points. And I’m glad we did that tonight.”
RSL is unbeaten in its last four games and has just one loss in its last eight.
NYCFC’s clearance went directly to Beckerman about 10 yards outside the area, where he tapped it to Rusnák on the left side. He took one touch and ripped a right-footer just inside the near post to give RSL a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.
Anton Tinnerholm stole a lazy pass in the attacking half and fed it to Alexander Ring at the top of the box where he took a touch, spun around and blasted a left-footer to give NYCFC (9-4-8) a 1-0 lead in the fourth.
Savarino tied it with a rising left-footer from the corner of the 6-yard box in the 37th minute and then bounced an entry to Nick Besler for the back-heel finish from point-blank range to cap the scoring in the 88th.
Nick Rimando had six saves for Real Salt Lake.
RSL played it second game without suspended head coach Mike Petke, who now has one game left on his 3-game suspension.
“What was different was when you come in and they’re going to be a possession team, they’re going to step out and press high,” said RSL assistant coach Tyrone Marshall. “Given up that goal early, I think it kind of calmed us down a bit because after they scored, we dominated in terms of the possession. It’s unfortunate that Corey had a little lapse and they got in and everything came across and it was a turn and hit a little ball towards the near post, beating Nick. But we rebounded really well. I thought the guys showed fantastic resilience and getting back to our game plan, what we were talking about all week, and what we prepared for, and that was fantastic.”
With the victory, Real Salt Lake improves to 10-9-4 on the season, and is now in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
RSL next plays at Sporting Kansas City August 10th at 6:30 p.m.