Despite a late comeback thanks to Joao Plata coming on as a sub in the second half and scoring a pair of goals, Real Salt Lake couldn’t do enough to salvage a point in Minnesota as they dropped all three points with a score of 3-2. This continues their poor road form, dropping to 1-8-1 away from home on the season.
Damir Kreilach started at the center forward position tonight as Corey Baird pushed out to the left wing in place of Bofo Saucedo. The rest of the lineup was what you’d expect, with Kyle Beckerman and Sunny starting as the holding midfield pair, as well as the back four of Brooks Lennon, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, and Danilo Acosta playing as the usual suspects.
For the most part, there weren't a lot of exciting moments in the first half of play. With RSL logging five total shots to Minnesota’s two, and each only getting one on target, the teams played a pretty even toe-to-toe game for the first 45 minutes. RSL had a slight edge in possession with 52% to Minnesota’s 48%, but the two sides ended up 0-0 after the first half.
Minnesota opened the scoring in the 51st minute with a controversial goal from Ibson that started with an apparent foul on Justen Glad that the referee saw no fault with. Glad went falling backwards down onto the ground as the ball came down out of the air after an apparent push from Minnesota attacker Darwin Quintero. Quintero collected the ball and made a quick cross into the middle of the box where an unmarked Ibson was able to slot it easily past Nick Rimando to put the home side up 1-0. This was Ibson’s third goal of the season.
In the aftermath, Mike Petke was sent off by referee Alan Kelly after some words were said in all of Petke’s disbelief, and assistant coach Freddy Juarez assumed the position of head coach for the rest of the game.
Just 11 minutes later, Quintero doubled the Loons’ lead off a counter attack that saw him with the ball outside of the box on the right side of the field. With Rimando off his line trying to cover his bases, Quintero was able to send a long chip in that sailed right over Rimando’s outstretched hand and into the back of the net, putting Minnesota up high with a 2-0 lead.
In the 68th minute, the home team struck again with another counter attack that caught RSL’s defense off guard. Quintero sent a cross in to a streaking Miguel Ibarra who seemed to easily outrun RSL’s defenders. He grabbed the ball and fired it right past Rimando, putting his side up 3-0 and all but securing the win for Minnesota.
The Loons continued to attack with their dangerous counters, sending long ball after long ball over the top of play, only to be saved at the last second by an RSL defender or Rimando himself.
RSL got one back in the 77th minute thanks to a foul from Francisco Calvo that gave RSL a free kick right at the top of the 18. Plata took the kick, went short to Kreilach, who immediately tapped it back to Plata who sent a shot flying into the top corner of the net right past Minnesota ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s outstretched hand, pulling the visitors within two as the scoreline improved to 3-1.
Joao Plata got his second of the match in the 86th minute when Brooks Lennon sent a long cross in from outside the 18. With some help from a Minnesota defender giving him a little shove in the air, Plata got his head to the ball and sent it right past Shuttleworth, pulling RSL to within one goal with a score of 3-2.
Despite some more pressure put on from RSL, they were unsuccessful in finding an equalizer and dropped the result with a final score of 3-2, good for their 8th road loss of the season throughout 10 games away from home.
Real Salt Lake will have to face the Colorado Rapids at home next week without Marcelo Silva, who will be suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Mike Petke will also miss next week’s match after being sent off earlier tonight.