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RSL drops to LAFC despite Ochoa heroics

Carlos Vela made the ultimate mark, but David Ochoa kept things competitive.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Heroics weren’t enough for Real Salt Lake tonight, as the team fell 2-1 to LAFC in a chaotic mess of a match.

Despite the RSL loss, eyes across MLS will be on David Ochoa, who parried shot after shot away from goal, keeping the magnitude of loss from growing too uneven.

It didn’t take long for Real Salt Lake to concede the opening goal: Just 10 minutes in, withLAFC finishing after a slew of chances were saved by David Ochoa. The final one came after Diego Rossi glided past Justen Glad to get free in the box before firing past Ochoa for a go-ahead goal.

But likewise, it didn’t take long for RSL to bounce back: Aaron Herrera — yes, that Aaron Herrera — scored a goal on the counter attack in the 18th minute, finishing past LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero with a low finish from range. Herrera was fed on the counter by Everton Luiz, giving RSL what is one of the least unexpected counterattacking combinations in recent memory.

The 58th minute saw a bit of controversy, with Aaron Herrera flagged for a handball inside the box, and a penalty was rightly called as the right back blocked a shot coming in hot on RSL’s right side. Carlos Vela took the penalty with a slow, deliberate run-up, but it was David Ochoa who came out victorious, crowning an already stellar performance with a well-timed stop as he channeled his inner Nick Rimando.

Those heroics could only carry RSL so far: The 79th minute saw Carlos Vela notch a goal to put LAFC up 2-1, scoring a screamer of a goal over David Ochoa’s head from a tight angle. RSL’s luck had more or less run out, but it took something truly magical to do it.