When Columbus made their lone visit to Utah last season on June 27th, they battled their way back from a one-goal deficit two separate times to earn themselves a point at Rio Tinto Stadium.
This was also the game where RSL pulled off a brilliant free kick goal that was dubbed "The Annexation of Puerto Rico," which came close to winning the MLS Goal of the Year for Olmes Garcia, and earned the number two spot on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
RSL opened the scoring in the 36th minute with that goal, when Luke Mulholland sent the free kick on the ground to Kyle Beckerman at the top of the box. Kyle immediately flicked it up over the Columbus defense where the ball found Joao Plata running toward the far post. Plata easily headed it across goal to Garcia for an easy tap-in past a confused Steve Clark to take a 1-0 lead.
Just six minutes later, Columbus would pull one back to tie up the game off a Tony Tchani goal. Hector Jimenez sent in a perfect cross that Mulholland wasn't able to get a foot to. Tchani was just able to beat Tony Beltran to the ball and one-touched it on the far post into the back of the net.
The 1-1 scoreline wouldn't last long, as RSL came out and scored in the first minute of the second half.
Abdoulie Mansally stole the ball in the 46th minute in the Crew's attacking third and sent a long ball over top to Sebastian Jaime, who was making a promising run toward goal. Columbus defender Emanuel Pogatetz called for Clark to come off his line and get the ball as he slowed his run, but Jaime turned on the afterburners and got to it just in time to chip it over Clark and into a completely empty net to put RSL up 2-1.
Once again, RSL's lead wouldn't last long as Columbus finished out the scoring in the 62nd minute.
Kei Kamara played a ground pass to Federico Higuain, who was able to send in a perfectly placed cross past Aaron Maund to find Ethan Finlay completely unmarked. Nick Rimando came off his line and came within inches of stopping the ball, but Finlay got a foot to it and sent it sailing into the goal to tie the game up at 2-2.
Jordan Allen earned a straight red card in the 77th minute for a dangerous studs-up challenge on Tony Tchani, but RSL was able to close the game out and keep the score level at two a piece.
Real Salt Lake out-shot Columbus 14-7 (6-3 on frame), but the Crew controlled the majority of possession at 54.9 percent.
RSL will look to roll into MAPFRE Stadium this weekend to claim the full three points this time in their one and only match-up with the Columbus Crew this season.