Decision Day

Recap: Sporting Kansas City 0, Real Salt Lake 1

Damir Kreilach’s goal deep into second-half stoppage time lifted Real Salt Lake to a dramatic 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, securing RSL’s berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day at Children's Mercy Park.

It was the most recent heroic moment from Kreilach, who deflected in Justin Meram’s bicycle kick for his 16th – and most important – goal of the season as RSL got the win they needed to reach the postseason. As the No. 7 seed, Real Salt Lake will go to Lumen Field to meet the second-seeded Seattle Sounders.

Sporting KC, which needed a win to finish first in the Western Conference, are the No. 3 seed and will host the sixth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps in Round One.

After a first half with one combined shot on frame, the game opened up for both after halftime. RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa was peppered in the opening five minutes of the second half with Khiry Shelton forcing a turnover just outside the box before slipping the ball to Daniel Salloi. The Landon Donovan MVP candidate was denied by Ochoa, who also stopped an attempt from distance by Luis Martins seconds later.

RSL interim coach Pablo Mastroeni made a double change in the 71st minute, bringing on Bobby Wood and Meram for a much-needed attacking punch.

Three minutes later, Meram tried to pick out the far post, but Tim Melia dived to parry away from the edge of the six-yard box.

Cam Duke nearly came off the substitute’s bench to be the hero, taking a touch into the box, but the young SKC midfielder fired his low shot just wide of the far post five minutes from full time.

Sporting had a penalty shout in the 90th minute when a ball took a touch off Justen Glad's hands, but it didn’t warrant a full Video Review.

In the second of five minutes of stoppage time, Anderson Julio fired just over bar for RSL. And just when it appeared Real Salt Lake would fall just short, Kreilach delivered at the death.


  • 90’+5’ – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: A Decision Day full of drama was bereft of that until the clock hit 90’. Should it have been a penalty against Glad or not? And then Kreilach scored one of the biggest goals of his career to create complete chaos in the Western Conference.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: From a devastating defeat to absolute elation, Kreilach sent RSL into the playoffs – and crushed the LA Galaxy’s hopes – with this magical hit.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: He’s not likely going to be the league MVP, or maybe even be named to the Best XI, but Kreilach continued to prove he's one of the most clutch players in MLS.

Next Up

  • SKC: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Western Conference Round One, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs 
  • RSL: at Seattle Sounders, Western Conference Round One, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs