Real Salt Lake 2, Colorado Rapids 0 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

Real Salt Lake have now won four straight Rocky Mountain Cup fixtures, with the latest a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids during Group D of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.

Zac MacMath posted his second shutout of the year, and Albert Rusnak opened his 2020 scoring account in the 27th minute. After Douglas Martinez’s cross was parried away, the Designated Player cleaned up the scraps and made it 1-0 with a left-footed shot.

Colorado could have seized momentum in the 72nd minute, when Clint Irwin made a spectacular double save on an RSL penalty kick. He denied Rusnak’s initial effort after diving low to his left, then robbed the follow-up shot from Nick Besler. The whole sequence made amends for Irwin fouling Martinez after Lalas Abubakar misplaced a back pass.

But the balance swayed in RSL’s favor, as Damir Kreilach drove home a long-range blast into the bottom corner in the 76th minute. He collected a centering pass from Corey Baird and made no mistake with the one-time finish.

Goals

  • 27' – RSL – Albert Rusnak | WATCH
  • 76' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

A rough challenge in the 62nd minute aside, Everton Luiz had an effective game in central midfield for RSL. He misplaced only three passes all night, and registered 20 defensive actions, led by 13 recoveries. The Brazilian made Colorado’s passage through the center difficult and let his attacking teammates thrive.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: RSL lead Group D on goal differential heading into Friday’s matchup against a high-flying Minnesota United team. First place will be on the line, as will the chance to knock off the league's last 3-0 team.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Damir Kreilach’s goal not only gave RSL a two-goal lead, but it came minutes after Clint Irwin’s double save on a penalty kick. With 15 minutes and change left afterward, it provided a cushion for the rivalry win. 
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Colorado continues to play second fiddle during the Rocky Mountain Cup, with the Rapids’ last rivalry win coming on Oct. 16, 2017. RSL holds a 5-0-1 record during the last six meetings between these Western Conference foes.

Next Up

  • COL: Friday, July 17 vs. Sporting Kansas City (8 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)
  • RSL: Friday, July 17 vs. Minnesota United (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada) 
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