Thanks to two separate equalizers from Justen Glad and Pablo Ruiz, Real Salt Lake was able to come back from a deficit to earn a draw for the second game in a row. They finished 2-2 against the defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders.
Aaron Herrera gave up a penalty kick in the 28th minute when he was a little careless with his arm placement on a Seattle pass and was whistled for a handball. He received a yellow card, and as the referee pointed to the spot immediately, Nicolas Lodeiro stepped up to take it. Lodeiro calmly sent it in past Andrew Putna, who was caught diving the wrong way, putting the visitors up in the first half with a score of 1-0.
While RSL had a a couple half-decent looks in the first half, it wasn’t anything to write home about or to really test Stefan Frei. Of course, they outshot Seattle 3-2 overall (0-1 on frame), but other than the handball and the penalty kick goal, the two teams went into the locker room having put out a fairly bland performance in the first 45 minutes. RSL enjoyed 61% of possession in the first half, which was promising in the midfield and the play going forward.
The equalizer came from none other than Justen Glad early in the second half when he headed in a ball off a corner from Albert Rusnak. Stefan Frei got a piece of it but it wasn’t enough — the ball went sailing into the net tying up the score at 1-1.
Glad almost did it again just a few minutes later off another corner. This one came from a little further away, but he got enough on it that Frei had to make a quick diving save to keep it out of the net.
Rusnak came within inches in the 64th minute when he let a shot rip near the top of the box and put it low to Frei’s right. Frei made a diving save and got his fingertips to it, giving it enough of a nudge to push it off the post and back out into play.
Seattle took the lead once again in the 69th minute when Alex Roldan sent a cross by the far post to Yelmar Gomez Andrade. He was able to head it down toward the ground and it bounced up past Putna and into the ned, putting the visitors up 2-1 with about 20 minutes left to play.
The Sounders thought they were ahead again in the 82nd minute when Raul Ruidiaz put one past Putna, but the referee called it back for offside. After review from the VAR, the call was confirmed and the goal was disallowed.
Pablo Ruiz opened his MLS account in the 85th minute with an absolute rocket from 25-30 yards out. Ruiz has been taking shots like that for quite some time, but finally found the back of the net on one at the most opportune time. His bomb brought the game level again at 2-2.
Marcelo Silva forced Frei to make another quick diving save just moments later, keeping the Sounders in the game.
Despite an intense back-and-forth end to the game, neither team was able to find the back of the net again and the game ended with a 2-2 score line, the two sides splitting the points. RSL ended with 12 shots overall (five on target) while maintaining 57% possession.
Real Salt Lake
Putna; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Kreilach, Ruiz (87’ Beckerman); Chang (HT Rossi), Rusnak (87’ Luiz), Meram (70’ Johnson); Baird
Frei; O’Neill, Gomez, Arrega; A. Roldan (83’ Leerdam), Delem (71’ Paulo), Lodeiro, Tolo (71’ Tolo); C. Roldan, Bwana (56’ Morris); Ruidiaz (83’ Bruin)
18’ - SEA - Xavier Arreaga (yellow card)
28’ - RSL - Aaron Herrera (yellow card)
45’+2’ - RSL - Damir Kreilach (yellow card)
80’ - SEA - Joao Paulo (yellow card)
90’ - RSL - Corey Baird (yellow card)
29’ - SEA - Nicolas Lodeiro (PK)
50’ - RSL - Justen Glad (Albert Rusnak)
69’ - SEA - Yelmar Gomez Andrade (Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem)
85’ - RSL - Pablo Ruiz