RSL survives late surge to down Rapids at home

JoaoPlataRealSaltLake1-ColoradoRapids (AP)

By TYLER GRAY

Sandy, Utah – With three members of Real Salt Lake’s starting lineup missing on World Cup duty, last week’s RSL hero showed up again to stymie the Colorado Rapids and secure all three points.

RSL continued their 11-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory over the rival Rapids on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL midfielder Javier Morales contributed a goal and an assist and made sure that the league knew the home side wasn’t missing all of their stars.

The Argentine scored his second penalty kick goal in as many matches early in the second half after forward Devon Sandoval was taken down from behind inside the Rapids’ box.

RSL got on the board midway through the first half as a well-worked sequence eventually fell to the feet of Joao Plata in the 23rd minute. The resurgent Plata took a smart touch towards goal and tucked a low shot inside the far post.

In the 51st minute, Sandoval was taken down in the box and Morales stepped to the spot for the penalty kick.  Morales executed his signature stutter-steps but Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin didn’t bite. Morales wasn’t phased, however, and blasted the shot into the upper right-hand corner with the inside of his foot.

The Rapids pulled one back in the 83rd minute when captain Drew Moor found himself unmarked in the box. Moor crouched low and headed a corner kick past RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and into the net.

The Rapids gave RSL a scare in the final minutes of the game, forcing some uncharacteristically sloppy play from the usually disciplined side. RSL played out of sorts during stoppage time and were lucky to survive the final onslaught from their visiting rivals.

Three points are three points, however, and RSL will take them anyway they can, but head coach, Jeff Cassar has yet to muster a solid 90-minute performance from his team all year.

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11 Responses to RSL survives late surge to down Rapids at home

  1. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Dang RSL has a deep bench. They’re like the Hydra.

  2. RB says:

    “RSL midfielder Javier Morales contributed a goal and an assist and made sure that the league knew the home side wasn’t missing all of their stars.”

    Quite the dive he contributed there, as well. Very captainly of him. Happily Geiger went straight for the card on that one.

    • Neruda says:

      RSL fans were not happy with the dive. He’s done stuff like that before but he Kreis stamped that out quickly. That was bad and Javi better control and fire on goal next time which works for him quite often.

    • Oog says:

      Ya it’s not like us RSL fans are happy with that. Unfortunately drawing fouls are part of the game and Morales does tend to go down pretty easy. Either way, Morales has had a great couple of games and showing flashes of his almost-MVP year. It’s nice to know that RSL can still play well without three of their most prolific starters though.

      Atinella had a beast of a game too. He has a good future in the league.

  3. Neruda says:

    Plata is a pint size beast. Sandoval is getting that game shape and rhythm back which is good. Attinella could be a starter in this league. Now we just need to see Grossman keep improving as he fills in for Kyle B. Oh yea and don’t forget to bag the THIRD GOAL. It’s most often a clincher that deflates the opposition.

  4. Spencer says:

    RSL will probably be going to the third string goalie because Attinella looked absolutely awful the entire second half. If Moor would have done better on his previous headers Colorado could have probably won. As Attinella misjudged crosses and left the goal wide open.

    • Oog says:

      Absolutely awful?? I think you’re crazy. He had some ridiculous saves in the second half. Some of his positioning wasn’t great on the crosses and we got lucky once, and unlucky on Colorado’s only goal (what could he have done to save that ball anyways? It was a great header). There’s not a chance he’s not starting and he could be a starter on several teams in the MLS and he needs to be in front of RSL’s net.

      • Spencer says:

        I only watched the second half, but yes he looked awful the second half. There was nothing he could have done on the goal other than that he didn’t look great. He didn’t position well on the crosses and he spilled a couple of balls instead of properly pushing them out of the path of the goal.

        • SJ says:

          You’re delusional. Attinella was solid all game long. His positioning was good, his reactions were razor sharp, and he controlled all but 2 shots well. He commanded his area well, not perfect, but well.

    • Neruda says:

      A few bad reads but he’s showed that he can manage a game and make big saves. His double save was pretty nice. Attinella is starting unless he’s injured. If he gets injured we’re screwed.

    • Chodilicus says:

      Attinella showed again he is a great shot stopper, but he has some real work to do in his decision making on coming out on crosses. He also needs to work better at communicating and directing his backline.

      However, the RSL centerbacks really, really struggled to win headers in that game. This is uncharacteristic but Schuler struggled in the air and got beat continuously, as did Borchers.