KRIS LINDSAY - Friday, November 8, 2013
Real Salt Lake vs Los Angeles Galaxy
MLS - Thursday November 7, 2013
Rio Tinto Stadium
A goal in the 102nd minute from Chris Schuler moved RSL into the winning position after coming into the match trailing 1-0 to the Galaxy on aggregate.
Real Salt Lake attacked from the start, and controlled much of pace of the match through out the first half.
The Galaxy threatened early, with a free kick at the edge of the box following a handball called on midfielder Sebastian Velasquez. Juninho sent the shot high, and never really threatened keeper Nick Rimando.
Real Salt Lake knotted the series up on aggregate in the 36th minute, when left back Chris Wingert crossed the ball in from the left side, and found the Velasquez all alone in the box. The Colombian headed the ball past Jaime Penedo for the first MLS goal of his career.
"I was surprised," described Velasquez. "You don't expect a 5'5" guy to get on the end of those. It's a moment I'll always remember."
The Galaxy nearly answered in the 66th minute, as Robbie Rogers got a shot towards Rimando, who blocked the first shot, and denied Donovan on a second shot on an acrobatic stop.
"He went down on the ground to save it, and it bobbled out in front of him," described Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis. "(Defender Chris Schuler) made a good play."
Real Salt Lake threatened again, twice going off the crossbar in a three minute time period. In the 84th minute, controversy ensued. Javier Morales took a deep free kick, curling the ball over all of the defenders and into the back of the net. As Real Salt Lake celebrated what would have been a game winner, the referee had signalled a foul on Chris Schuler.
As the game headed to extra time, momentum was clearly on the side of the home team. The winner came in the 102nd minute, as Javier Morales drove in a free kick from the left side, Schuler made a run around the back of the defender and poked the ball in from a tight angle.
The Galaxy pressed in the second half of extra time, but didn't challenge Nick Rimando.
"Tonight Robbie (Keane) and I couldn't pull the rabbit out of the hat," said midfielder Landon Donovan after the match. "We needed other players to step up, and it just didn't happen tonight."
With the win, Real Salt Lake will move on to face the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Final as a battle of the top two seeds in the West.