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RSL goes into high gear against 10-man Colorado, wins 3-0

It took more than a half and a red card, but RSL finally looked dominant.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake ran out winners over 10-man Colorado Rapids in a match spotted by controversy that truly embodied the spirit of the Rocky Mountain Cup.

Despite a poor start, RSL finished the first half in as strong a manner as you can hope given their lack of goals. That might be tempered post-match by one non-controversial red card, which saw Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard sent off for a clear handball outside the box on a Jefferson Savarino shot.

The first goal came during the second half through a Joao Plata penalty, won after a lengthy VAR decision. He took it neatly and left nothing to debate. With the Rapids at 10, the dynamic quickly changed.

In the 88th minute, Damir Kreilach found himself unmarked in the box for the second, collecting a perfect cross and firing home at the far post with all the ability that his highlights showed.

Then, in stoppage time, Albert Rusnak put a delightful shot in that left Zac MacMath clawing at thin air — the 3-0 scoreline that resulted was a just result for the second half’s performance from RSL.

The first-half showing only improved when Howard had been sent off, with the sacrifice of Jack McBean significantly altering the opposition’s approach.

Surprisingly, Danilo Acosta was pulled at halftime, with Pablo Ruiz making his home debut at said point.

With David Horst falling to injury late in the week and Marcelo Silva still not fit after sitting out multiple matches, Nick Besler made his first start for the club after signing last year. Danilo Acosta made his first start of 2018 in place of Demar Phillips.