VANCOUVER, B.C. (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake’s three-game winning streak came to an end in Vancouver, as the Whitecaps scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time to win, 2-1.
Aaron Herrera’s hard foul in the box on Luis Martins resulted in a second yellow card and a penalty kick, which Ryan Gauld buried in the upper right corner of the net to give Vancouver the dramatic victory.
“I think we managed the game really well,” said RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “I think we created enough to win the game, but unfortunate not to come away with anything in this one.”
Vancouver opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Ranko Veselinovic tapped in a long throw in from Jake Nerwinski past RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead at the half.
RSL appeared to level the match in the 52nd minute when Sergio Cordova’s header appeared to cross the goal line before Cody Cropper made the save. But before it could be reviewed, just 25 seconds later, Justin Meram scored his second goal of the season.
Pablo Ruiz sent in a long pass from beyond midfield, which was badly misplayed by Vancouver defender Ryan Rapaso. The ball bounced off of Raposo’s chest and right to Meram, who beat Cropper to level the match at one.
In the 61st minute, Cropper made back-to-back saves, first on a low shot from Jefferson Savarino from 25 yards, then scrambled back into position to block Cordova’s close-range attempt on the rebound.
But just when it appeared RSL was going to get out of Vancouver with one point, the Whitecaps were the beneficiaries of Herrera’s hard sliding tackle in the box. After a slow start to the season, Vancouver is now 4-1-1 in its last six games.
“We were there, we had chances to take the lead actually,” Meram said. “I thought it was a great performance, unlucky, plays happen. It’s never easy to win on the road. We can hold our head high that we put in a performance and we just got the short end of it tonight. Tough result, we fought hard, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Real Salt lake outshot Vancouver, 10-6, with both teams putting four shots on frame.
RSL (7-4-4) is now off until June 18th when it hosts San Jose at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m.