After an early scare, Real Salt Lake downed Phoenix Rising in their first match of their Arizona leg of preseason, running out 4-1 winners.
After going down in the opening two minutes of the match, RSL scored four uncontested goals, including two from Damir Kreilach.
Adam Jahn opened the scoring for Phoenix Rising, giving the team a 1-0 lead over Real Salt Lake inside the first two minutes. It was a simple finish for Jahn, who finished easily past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Damir Kreilach leveled the match in the 11th minute, finishing off a Corey Baird pass inside the box for an important equalizer — or at least as important as one can be in preseason. The goal was as simple as it needed to be, with Kreilach just passing the ball into the near post.
Jefferson Savarino very nearly put RSL ahead from a free kick, with his shot casting a shadow along the post as it zipped past, with the goalkeeper left unaware.
Kreilach proved incredible again late in the first half, scoring a beautiful dipping free kick past the Arizona goalkeeper from the edge of the box — a difficult position to score from, no doubt, given the distance between the wall and the goal is relatively short. It was a wonder of a preseason goal, and it gave RSL a deserved lead going into halftime.
RSL was favored with a 62nd minute penalty, which was finished by Brooks Lennon with a nice coolness to the goalkeeper’s left along the ground. One ought not be surprised that Damir Kreilach wasn’t fighting to take the penalty for the hat trick, and that Lennon was given a chance to take the penalty in his hometown.
Lennon nearly doubled his count in the 73rd, this time from the run of play after he burst down an open right wing before firing inches past the far post.
It was Jefferson Savarino that put RSL up 4-1, scoring on a breakaway down that same right side before beating the goalkeeper and finishing in an open net. Aaron Herrera sprung Savarino’s run beautifully, with the timing on the pass immaculate.
Rimando (45’ Putna)
Lennon (77’ Beltran), Glad (77’ Besler), Silva (77’ Onuoha). Herrera (77’ Toia)
Luiz (77’ Portillo). Beckerman (77’ Mulholland)
Savarino (77’ Ruiz), Kreilach (77’ Vazquez), Saucedo (77’ Plata)
Baird (77’ Coffee)