Match Recap: Colorado Rapids 1-4 Real Salt Lake
The Colorado Rapids slipped to a third defeat in four games as they succumbed 4-1 at home to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, in a first game inside DICK’S Sporting Goods Park since March 7, writes Richard Fleming.
In control the first 45 minutes, and with an Aaron Herrera own goal to show for their troubles, few saw the turn-around in the second half. RSL scored four unanswered goals, the first an absolute stunner from Damir Kreilach, as the Rapids appeared a shadow of the side which comfortably cruised through the first period.
Real Salt Lake had struggled to score goals this season. They had managed only three in their five previous outings, with two of those coming against the Rapids in July at the MLS Is Back Tournament. With Saturday’s result, six of their seven goals have been scored upon their Rocky Mountain rivals.
“I think it’s what we’re all thinking, it’s embarrassing," admitted Andre Shinyashiki. "It’s a shame that it went the way it went and I think we have to take a hard look on ourselves.
"We have a quick turnaround to play on Wednesday and we just have to do better. That’s the reality of it. There’s not much else to say.”
A clearly disgruntled Younes Namli afterwards suggested the lack of consistency was key to the Rapids’ downfall. His performance was arguably the one shining light on an otherwise frustrating night for the home side.
They had control of a first half in which RSL lost Douglas Martinez early to a head injury, but the second spell was a different story. Maikel Chang came on at the start of the second half, and had a hand in three of the four goals, which included scoring the game winner 14 minutes from time.
Kreilach’s cracker leveled the contest, a stunning strike from 20-plus yards, which William Yarbrough could do nothing about.
It was a Yarbrough spill which allowed Chang his first goal in MLS. Chang then found Corey Baird in space with five minutes remaining for the third, before that pair combined to help Justin Meram side-foot home the fourth in the game’s dying moments.
At 2-1 down, substitute Andre Shinyashiki glanced his header inches wide from a Namli cross. Two minutes later, a deflected Namli shot cannoned back off the upright. Failure to take the chances were punished by the more clinical RSL, who leap-frog above the Rapids in the Western Conference standings.
Head coach Robin Fraser said: "As the game went on, we grew into it and towards the end of the first half I thought we were making things sufficiently difficult for them, turning balls over in good spots and obviously were able to create the goal out of that.
"The second half, we got on the back foot a bit and after we gave up the second goal, we pushed to try to make up for it and obviously then got caught on the counter a couple of times.
"Overall, I felt like the first half was certainly decent and was getting better towards the end of it and then in second half we didn’t quite match what we did in the first."
The Rapids slipped to eighth in the Western Conference , and next head to FC Dallas on Wednesday. Coverage starts at 6PM on Altitude and AltitudeNOW.
Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson (Kei Kamara 84’), Sam Vines; Jack Price; Younes Namli, Nicolas Mezquida (Andre Shinyashiki 71’), Kellyn Acosta, Jonathan Lewis; Diego Rubio.
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Jeremy Kelly, Braian Galvan, Cole Bassett, Drew Moor, Collen Warner, Auston Trusty.
Real Salt Lake: Andrew Putna; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Nedum Onuoha (Erik Holt 90’+2), Donny Toia; Pablo Ruiz (Nick Besler 83’), Everton Luiz (Maikel Chang HT); Albert Rusnak (Justin Portillo 90’+2), Damir Kreilach, Corey Baird; Douglas Martinez (Justin Meram 15’).
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Tate Schmitt, Milan Iloski, Sam Johnson.
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, TJ Zablocki
4th Official: Victor Rivas
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
AVAR: Fabio Tovar