In a heroic turn of events, Kyle Beckerman saved the day with the absolute last kick of the game that ended up being the game-tying goal, salvaging a point for Real Salt Lake as they drew with the LA Galaxy 1-1.
Things got off to a rocky start when Marcelo Silva was sent off in the 17th minute, forcing Mike Petke to pull Luke Mulholland off the field and bring in David Horst to fill the gap. The referee, after looking at a video review, decided that Silva committed a foul that was a denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity, which is an automatic red card.
The call was highly controversial, as the replay didn’t seem to show that it was such an obvious foul. Silva and Giovani dos Santos were shoulder-to-shoulder with each other as dos Santos sprinted toward goal, but referee Rubiel Vazquez decided to issue the card after reviewing the video, and sent Silva packing in what proved to be a complete game-changing decision.
RSL had a few great chances of their own throughout the rest of the first half, but it was LA who opened the scoring in the 41st minute. Bradford Jamieson collected a through ball and was able to fire a shot off right past Justen Glad. It found its way to the far post, just sailing past Nick Rimando, putting the home side up 1-0 just before the break.
It wasn’t a particularly good half for a short-handed RSL, as they were on the wrong side of many stats, including possession which LA led 66%-34%. The Galaxy also led in shots, taking 10 overall and putting five on frame, while RSL wasn’t able to send any of their seven shots on target.
LA came extremely close to doubling their lead in the 55th minute when none other than Emmanuel Boateng brought down a ball from over the top heading toward RSL’s goal. He was able to outrun RSL defenders and launch a shot that beat Rimando, but hit off the far post and bounced back out to the top of the 18 where RSL was able to clear the ball.
The night got worse for Jefferson Savarino in the 67th minute when he went down while chasing a ball with an apparent left knee injury. After sending the trainers out to check on him, Petke pulled Savarino off and brought Bofo Saucedo on in his place, with the third and final sub of the night.
RSL had several golden chances throughout the last 15 minutes of the game, including a couple great looks from Bofo and Brooks Lennon, but none of them could find their way to the back of the net.
Horst made a beautiful goal line save to keep LA from doubling their lead when Romain Alessandrini went around Rimando and let a shot rip at an empty net. Horst came sliding in and sent the ball out for a corner kick at the last second, keeping the game at 1-0.
Just when we thought all was lost, Alessandrini committed a foul right outside the 18 in RSL’s attacking third. Set to be the last play of the game in stoppage time, the free kick was saved but the rebound was collected by David Horst. He quickly sent it over to an open Kyle Beckerman who launched the ball toward the far post and buried it in the top corner, earning his team a draw and a crucial point in the playoff race.
With this point, RSL stays above the redline in sixth place, tied on points with San Jose and Dallas, but ahead on tiebreakers.