COMMERCE CITY, Col. (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake did its part on the final day of the regular season, beating Colorado for a fourth time, 1-0.
But because Houston defeated Portland, RSL will not have home field advantage against the Dynamo in the best-of-three first round playoff series this week.
Diego Luna scored in the 74th minute to lift Real Salt Lake past the host Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Saturday night. The goal ensured Real Salt Lake (14-12-8, 50 points) home-field advantage in the opening round of the MLS playoffs.
Luna kept the ball in play on the left boundary and fired it into the top right corner of the net.
Colorado (5-17-12, 27 points), already eliminated from playoff contention entering its final regular-season match, had its opportunities early, but failed to convert.
Both teams had shots on goal in the initial five minutes. Two minutes in, Colorado’s Cole Bassett fired a shot from a tricky angle that was handled by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath. In the fifth minute — the visitors’ Danny Musovski had a close-range shot that was saved by Abraham Rodriguez.
Rafael Navarro and Jonathan Lewis had chances that were off the mark in the ensuing five minutes. Andreas Maxso had a shot saved in the 14th minute and Lewis in the 16th.
The home side led in shot attempts (8-3) and shots on goal (3-2) at the midway point. The Rapids also had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Real Salt Lake’s only other shot to get to Rodriguez in the first half was Brian Ojeda’s header in the 33rd minute.
In the final 10 minutes of the second half, Colorado’s Andrew Gutman’s header from the center of the box was blocked, Navarro had a shot go high and wide, and Kevin Cabral’s shot was saved by MacMath. Connor Ronan’s shot in the fourth minute of stoppage time was also denied.
The win was Real Salt Lake’s fourth against Colorado this year, three of which were in MLS regular-season play.