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Real Salt Lake loses 2-1 thanks to late LAFC heroics

A goal in the second minute of stoppage time from Walker Zimmerman gave LAFC the 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles FC Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake dropped all three points in a game that saw one red card, seven yellow cards, and a game-winning goal halfway through stoppage time. Walker Zimmerman’s late-game heroics gave Los Angeles FC the 2-1 win, and the revenge on RSL they were looking for.

Forced to field a less-than-ideal lineup due to call-ups, suspensions, and injuries, tonight’s game saw Petke putting out names like Tate Schmitt, Erik Holt, and Donny Toia while Brooks Lennon moved up to the right wing in lieu of the suspended Jefferson Savarino.

As expected, LAFC controlled the majority of possession for the first part of the game, having a few decent chances, which included a great save by Nick Rimando to keep the game deadlocked at 0-0 early on. The game was chippy right away, with LAFC visibly out for revenge from last season’s 3-2 loss at home when RSL knocked them out of the playoffs. Tensions were running high as four yellow cards were handed out in the first 25 minutes.

The tides began to turn in the 33rd minute when Bofo Saucedo was taken down in the box by LAFC midfielder Latif Blessing. Bofo, running toward goal at the top of the box, went down when Blessing clipped his heel. Referee Ismail Elfath immediately pointed to the spot, and the decision stood after the VAR confirmed it.

Damir Kreilach stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly sent the ball into the lower right side of the net, catching LAFC ‘keeper Tyler Miller diving the wrong way. The visitors would draw first blood, going up 1-0 on LA in the first half much to the dismay of the entire home crowd at Banc of California Stadium.

The lead didn’t last long as LAFC would pull one back just five minutes later. Blessing sent a ball on the ground into the box trying to find Diomande, but Donny Toia was able to slide and get a foot on it. However, the clearance didn’t quite go as planned when the ball rolled in front of the goal, and Diego Rossi outran nearby RSL defenders and one-timed it into the net, leveling the game at 1-1 in the 40th minute.

LAFC held Real Salt Lake to just two total shots in the first half, while tallying eight themselves and controlling 63% of possession after 45 minutes. Regardless of stats, the teams went into the locker room all squared up at 1-1.

RSL thought they took the lead again early on in the second half when Bofo collected the ball near the top corner of the box and let a beautiful shot rip toward the far post. It found its way past Miller and into the corner, sending the visitors back into the lead, but only for a quick second. Elfath, after consulting with his VAR, called the goal back for offside — Bofo was ahead of the play slightly when the ball was deflected by LAFC — and play resumed with the scoreline still set at 1-1.

RSL was dealt a red card for the third time in two games as Justin Portillo was sent off only nine minutes after he subbed in for Schmitt. Portillo was chasing a ball down that Rossi sent and was chasing down the sideline, when Portillo stuck his arm out and made contact with Rossi’s neck. Rossi went to the ground and referee Ismail Elfath immediately blew the whistle and showed Portillo the red.

Just when RSL thought they were leaving with a point, Walker Zimmerman put a ball into the net in the second minute of stoppage time, sending the home side up 2-1 with a beauty of a strike that took a slight deflection off Erik Holt’s foot and straight into the top corner, giving Rimando no chance to make a save.

The game would end two minutes later with a 2-1 scoreline, RSL leaving California with zero points. They’ll return home next week to take on FC Dallas on March 30th.


35’ RSL - Damir Kreilach (PK)
40’ LAFC - Diego Rossi
90+2’ LAFC - Walker Zimmerman


4’ RSL - Everton Luiz - yellow card
18’ LAFC - Jordan Harvey - yellow card
22’ LAFC - Andre Horta - yellow card
24’ RSL - Sebastian Saucedo - yellow card
55’ RSL - Kyle Beckerman- yellow card
79’ RSL - Damir Kreilach - yellow card
84’ RSL - Justin Portillo - red card
90+3’ RSL - Aaron Herrera - yellow card


Rimando; Herrera, Holt, Onuoha, Toia (90+4’ Luis Arriaga); Luiz, Beckerman; Lennon, Kreilach, Saucedo (68’ Besler); Schmitt (75’ Portillo)

Miller; Beitashour, Zimmerman, Segura, Harvey (81’ Hamalainen); Horta (78’ J. Perez), Atuesta, Blessing; Vela, Diomande (79’ A. Perez), Rossi