Real Salt Lake steamrolled the LA Galaxy tonight, putting up six goals for the second game in a row as they blew past Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy 6-2, while Damir Kreilach notched the team’s first hat trick of the season.
It didn’t start well for RSL when LA opened the scoring in the very first minute, thanks to a goal from Jonathan dos Santos. A ball found him wide open on the far post and he easily slotted it in in the top right corner, despite Rimando getting a hand to it.
RSL had an answer in the 14th minute when Plata sent a ball into Rusnak on a counter attack. Rusnak had a quick back heel to break free from his defender and took a quick shot that went low and as far right as possible while still staying inside the post, swerving just past David Bingham’s outstretched hand putting the game level at 1-1.
In the very last play of the half, RSL grabbed another courtesy of Kreilach, who essentially assisted to himself. The ball came into him inside the 18, and he chested it down and tried to kick it in the net. It popped up a little, enough to set him up enough for a free and clear header, which he did to put the home side up 2-1 right before the halftime whistle.
Despite some “fowl” play — get it? There was a duck on the field. Zing! — RSL absolutely dominated the first half, outshooting LA 12-2 overall (5-2 on frame) while controlling 66% of possession. A huge testament to how this team can bounce back after conceding an early goal, which is a breath of fresh air this late in the season.
It didn’t take long in the second half to continue the scoring, as Savarino took a shot from the right side of the goal. LA defender Michael Ciani got to it, but unfortunately for him, he popped it up and accidentally ended up chipping his own keeper, putting it into the back of his own net and extending RSL’s lead to 3-1. Thanks, Ciani!
In the 61st minute, RSL struck again thanks to none other than Damir Kreilach, who benefitted from Rusnak’s persistence. Savarino sent a ball into Rusnak on the far left post, who ripped a shot that Bingham saved. Rusnak collected the rebound and quickly slid the ball to a streaking Kreilach for an easy tap-in, putting the scoreline at an impressive 4-1.
Just one minute later, LA found an answer thanks to Romain Alessandrini. Streaking toward goal on the right side, he let a shot rip that unfortunately took a deflection off Kyle Beckerman and found its way into the back of the net, bringing the score to 4-2.
RSL pulled yet another one back in the 68th off a Rusnak stunner, as Savarino sent a ball into him at the top of the box and Rusnak was able to one-time it with his left foot on the volley, flying in past Bingham to put the home side up 5-2.
Just two minutes later, Kreilach completed a hat trick thanks to another assist from none other than Jefferson Savarino, putting RSL up a staggering 6-2 showing no signs of stopping.
Ibrahimovic was rendered virtually useless on the field as Nick Besler seemed to have his number all night. RSL’s potent attack sliced up LA’s defense, and it seems as though they’ve hit their stride at the perfect time, heading into the playoff stretch.
RSL has now outscored their opponents 14-3 over the last three matches. They stay in fourth place due to LAFC’s 4-2 win over Toronto earlier, but sitting at 44 points they’re in a fantastic spot ahead of their last six games of the season.