Real Salt Lake earned a point in their second group stage match tonight against Minnesota United, as both sides had chances but couldn’t ever break through to take the edge in what ended up as a 0-0 draw.
Freddy Juarez fielded almost the same lineup as last week’s game, while slotting Pablo Ruiz in next to Everton Luiz in lieu of Kyle Beckerman.
RSL had a scare heading into the first hydration break in the 27th minute as Albert Rusnak ended up on the ground and appeared to be writhing in pain. Luckily, he was able to get up and walk it off, and he continued when it looked like he might be coming off as Justin Meram was warming up.
Unfortunately, just a few minutes later Rusnak was on the ground again with an apparent leg injury, forcing Juarez to sub him off and bringing Meram on in his place.
The best chance of the half came in the dying seconds of stoppage time when Minnesota nearly put one in past MacMath. Robin Lod took a shot that ended up hitting the left corner of the crossbar while MacMath watched it sail past him. It bounced off into space where another player came at it with a diving header, but MacMath was able to save that one, keeping the score at 0-0.
The ref immediately blew the whistle after, sending the teams off for halftime in a deadlock.
Other than that, the first 45 minutes were fairly uneventful. RSL controlled 55% of possession without being able to log a single shot on target, while Minnesota finished the half with one.
The second half started with a little more action as both teams logged shots on goal right off the bat. Pablo Ruiz had a great look just a few minutes in, after Aaron Herrera found him unmarked outside the box. Ruiz let it fly from 30-35 yards, but unfortunately Miller made the relatively easy save to keep it out of the net.
Not long after, Minnesota found themselves at the other end as Lod sent a shot in on a breakaway that looked like it was headed in. MacMath came up huge as he went to ground and just got enough of a hand on it to stop it dead in its tracks.
In the end, neither team was able to find the back of the net and they ended the night with a scoreless draw.
RSL finishes out their group stage campaign on Wednesday night as they take on Sporting Kansas City, hoping to finish in one of the top two spots to make it to the knockout round.
Real Salt Lake
MacMath; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Ruiz, Luiz; Rusnak (34’ Meram), Kreilach, Baird (79’ Chang); Martinez (79’ Johnson)
Miller; Metanire, Aja, Boxall, Gasper; Gregus, Alonso; Finlay (65’ Dotson), Molino (HT Chacon), Lod (79’ Edwards); Schoenfeld (65’ Amarilla)
43’ RSL - Aaron Herrera - yellow card
45+2’ RSL - Justin Meram - yellow card
53’ MIN - Thomas Chacon - yellow card
66’ MIN - Robin Lod - yellow card
69’ RSL - Corey Baird - yellow card