Real Salt Lake entered Saturday night's match against Minnesota United FC on a high. They had scored six goals in each of their last two matches, which made them the first team in MLS history to score six goals in back-to-back matches, and were on a three-game win streak. That run was halted at Rio Tinto Stadium, as the home team failed drew 1-1 with the visiting Loons.
Damir Kreilach opened the scoring in the 11th minute, his 11th goal of the season. But the lead failed to hold up as Miguel Ibarra found an equalizer in the 84th minute. Minnesota looked to have take a late lead through Ibarra again, but Darwin Quintero was ruled to be offside after Video Review.
“Overall a poor game from us," said RSL playmaker Albert Rusnak after the match. "These kinds of games we have to be winning we want to keep pushing up in the table and clinching our playoff spot. I feel like at this moment it’s going to go all the way to the last game.”
The draw leaves the Claret and Cobalt in fourth place in the Western Conference. That standing is based off their total points, but their points per game average leaves them in sixth place, just .12 higher than Vancouver Whitecaps FC. FiveThirtyEight.com projects them with an 83 percent chance of making the playoffs, with every other team besides the LA Galaxy with at least one game on hand on Mike Petke's team.
Three of their last five matches of the season come on the road, including trips to Atlanta and Kansas City over the next two weeks. While it will be critical for RSL to continue their dominance at home, Petke has a goal over his team's next two matches.
“All the good that these players have done in these last three games, with really going for the jugular, we just didn’t seem to have that tonight,” Petke said. “We controlled the game still; did well against Quintero which was a main focal point considering how good he is. We didn’t finish them off when we had opportunities and even before that I think our transition was sloppy. We’ll take the point and now we have to find two points on the road, two more points than we were planning on getting.”