Nick Rimando - RSL - makes save vs. Portland - 6-18-16
USA Today Sports

Four goals, five cards, and the end of Real Salt Lake's perfect home season

For the first time this season, Real Salt Lake failed to take all three points at home in their 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.

Salt Lake led 1-0 and trailed 2-1 before a 70th minute penalty kick from Yura Movsisyan equalized.

"It was an entertaining game and on a different night we come away with three points," Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar said.

The game became intense early as RSL's first goal seemed to set off the fire alarms at Rio Tinto Stadium. The rest of the game remained fiery as five cards and the penalty kick plus plenty of spirited chatter on the field followed up on the seven cards, two reds, and a penalty kick these teams played to in a 2-2 draw in March in Portland.

Cassar suggested the draw was a fair result, but by no means was it a clean effort.

Despite the early 1-0 lead at home, RSL didn't maintain its momentum and lapses led to two goals to put Portland up at the half.

"I think we made a couple mistakes with the ball in our half of the field and that is dangerous," RSL midfielder Javier Morales said.

Portland's first goal came off a turnover which was quickly sent to the feet of Fanendo Adi who fended off Justen Glad and slipped a shot past a charging Nick Rimando.

The second came off chances from a turnover 40 yards out in the middle of the field. Turnovers in bad places have led to goals multiple times this season and Saturday was no different.

"At the end of the day, it's really choices that are made," Cassar said. "In the middle of the field you've got to make high percentage passes. We talk about it all the time."

The emphasis is even greater when the mistakes aren’t new.

"You don't want to start giving up the same goals over and over," Cassar said. “"I think when we get into those positions, our backline wasn't prepared if it turned over, and we were surprised. Defenders can't be surprised when things go wrong."

Even with the 2-1 deficit, Real Salt Lake played a second half that earned them a point.

"We created a lot of chances," Cassar said. "I'm not going to harp on the three points, but I am going to make sure we're playing with urgency at home and trying to defend our house."