Real Salt Lake had one mission tonight: win and you’re in. A win against Sporting Kansas City would secure their spot in the postseason, regardless of any other game’s results. After a long hard-fought game, it finally paid off as Damir Kreilach grabbed his 16th goal of the season in the dying seconds of the game, booking RSL’s spot in the postseason.
Interim head coach Pablo Mastroeni switched up his formation and put four defenders in the back instead of his usual three center backs. Andrew Brody and Aaron Herrera started on the flanks with Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva in the middle in front of Ochoa in goal. It was obviously a more defensive-minded lineup as Pablo looked to lock down a clean sheet, but a draw wouldn’t be enough for RSL as they needed a win to make the playoffs.
RSL failed to log a shot on target in the first half, putting five in overall while SKC also put in five and hit one of theirs on target. SKC enjoyed the majority of possession in the first 45 minutes as well.
Real Salt Lake got away with what appeared to be an uncalled hand ball in the box in stoppage time. Replays showed that Justen Glad’s hand came in contact with the ball, but referee Ted Unkel motioned to play on and no penalty was called.
RSL continued to push forward at the end of the game desperately looking for that goal to put them in the playoffs, and it finally came in the final minute of stoppage time thanks to the team’s leading scorer Damir Kreilach. Aaron Herrera sent a long ball in from the right side of the box that found Tim Melia, who parried it out to the top of the box. Anderson Julio sent a shot in that was deflected and found its way to Justin Meram. Meram attempted a bicycle kick that was off target, but Kreilach ran in and tapped it in past Melia, giving RSL the win and a spot in the 2021 MLS Playoffs.