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Superb halftime sub Chang lifts RSL to 4-1 victory over Colorado Rapids

It was a huge performance for Chang in just his third MLS showing in a Real Salt Lake shirt.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

An own goal from Aaron Herrera (and a potential handball, which certainly would have led to a penalty had the shot not gone in) put RSL in hot water inside the first half, with the goal coming after a real breakdown inside their own half.

Damir Kreilach found the equalizer, tying the game up 1-1 with an absolutely stunning shot from distance — a world-class strike that put the game back in contention early in the second half.

Maikel Chang put RSL up 2-1, finishing an extremely poor spill from Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough following a well-placed Justin Meram pass. The goal was his first, and it came in just his third regular season appearance for RSL.

Corey Baird scored RSL’s third with a well-placed shot from the center of the box, finishing a superb pass from Maikel Chang from the end line. It gave RSL a sense of security against a team that went into halftime with a lead that felt nearly immovable.

Justin Meram grabbed the fourth, finishing a cross from — you guessed it — Maikel Chang, who placed the ball perfectly. Meram’s finish was a professional, calm one, and it underscored the value he was brought in to provide.

It was the halftime substitution of Maikel Chang, on for Everton Luiz, that tipped the scales. It left RSL with a different look int he midfield, which suited the team well against Colorado Rapids, who didn’t much play through the middle of the park.

The match started with a suspected concussion to Douglas Martinez, who got rocked by a clearance from close range — it was truly terrible luck for the young striker, and it certainly derailed the RSL coach Freddy Juarez’s plans.