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RSL lives another day, draws 1-1 against LA Galaxy

MLS: Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake dropped points against LA Galaxy, drawing 1-1 in a match that saw two penalties, a little bit of VAR controversy, and some of the worst finishing this side of the Mississippi from both sides.

The match started with an unsurprising amount of back and forth, and the first attempt at breaking the deadlock that looked likely came when Riqui Puig was tripped by Scott Caldwell in the box. Puig himself took the penalty he earned, but it was poor, and Zac MacMath made a nice save.

RSL opened the scoring in the 25th minute with Sergio Cordova scoring a header pushing himself away from goal. It was a solid, difficult finish that took no small amount of skill, and the cross from Aaron Herrera was placed in a perfect position. All around, an excellent way for RSL to open the scoring.

LA Galaxy equalized in the second half, with Marcelo Silva fouling Chicharito and forcing the second penalty of the night. It only came after video review, with retiring referee Kevin Stott initially flagging for what might have been a call of simulation. Notably, Chicharito had been handed a yellow earlier in the match for simulation in the box. A second yellow and subsequent sending off would have been a real delight, but instead, a call — presumably from the video official — handed the penalty to LA Galaxy. That appears to have been the correct call, but the video board appeared to not be on, so we presume that the VAR official made the call.

Justen Glad had two stoppage time opportunities to score from crosses, with one header low and saved extremely well, and one high and sailing away from danger. It was a disappointing end for the center back, who will feel it keenly.

The game ended that way, knotted at 1-1: a wholly dissatisfying result for RSL, and a result for LA that seals a playoff position.

From the post-match, RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni:

Listen, I think when the players play, it was a great game. When other people got involved in the game, it got messy. But I think from our perspective, a fantastic performance, gritty from all phases of the game. Disciplined, organized. The effort, the commitment, the football, the desire to win the game — everything was there. That’s all we can control.