RSL unable to finish chances as playoff run screeches to halt

George Frey

In what seemed a stunning repeat of so many matches gone by, Real Salt Lake fell near the death of the match after failing to finish their chances.

In what seemed a stunning repeat of so many matches gone by, Real Salt Lake fell near the death of the match after failing to finish their chances.

For most of the 90 minutes, it was a battle of goalkeepers and back lines: Midfield possession changed hands with some frequency, with Real Salt Lake edging the statistical battle in passing and shooting.

RSL coach Jason Kreis wasn't satisfied with the lack of finishing prowess his side displayed.

"I think again it was a game where there were chances that weren't taken properly for both teams," he said. "It's unfortunate that we are on the losing end of that."

That isn't just down to the forwards, Kreis said.

"Maybe a few a decisions were wrong in the final third about where the ball needed to go and when it needed to go," he said. "I think it's the typical stance that most people would take is that it falls on the forwards, but not for me, no it falls on everybody to create good goal scoring chances and to take goal scoring chances."

With time winding down, Jason Kreis rolled the dice and remove both his full backs, bringing on Jonny Steele and Luis Gil. But five minutes of stoppage wasn't enough for RSL, and there was a distinct sense that even another 30 minutes wouldn't have seen a goal.

The generally proactive display by Real Salt Lake saw the defense at times left exposed, and it was from a counterattacking move that the home side conceded the solitary goal.

Kreis describes his side as one that tries to set the tempo and pace, while Seattle exploited its counterattacking options.

"We are a team that gets on the front foot and tries to keep our opponents pinned in for most of the match," Kreis said. "I think you saw that again tonight. Seattle was living and dying on the counter, and credit to them they had a game plan and they succeeded with it.

For Kreis, that proactive approach is essential, even if it doesn't always pan out.

"I hope that, in the grand scheme of things, everything evens out and that's just the way I see the game," Kreis said. "(...) I hope that if there are a hundred games played, the team that's willing to risk more, the team that's willing to be more bold, the team that's willing to set the tempo and wanting to set the tempo gets results; but for what I have seen over the past couple of days that's not happening."

The loss marked another defeat at home in a vital match.

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