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RSL cedes points on road, loses 2-1 to Atlanta United

An abysmal opening 30 minutes put RSL on the back foot.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake made it four matches without a win tonight, losing 2-1 to an Atlanta United team that’s provided their opponents with repeated equalizing opportunities in the final minutes of the match.

  • GOAL, Atlanta 1-0 RSL, 8’ — Atlanta opens the scoring way too early for my comfort, with Thiago Almada feeding Ronaldo Cisneros, who scored with shocking ease. A chop took out Erik Holt, and it’s truly shocking how easily Cisneros was able to set up shop between Holt and Johan Kappelhof. It’s an ugly, ugly goal, and it makes RSL look like a terrible team.
  • 30’ An excellent save from Zac MacMath, who drops low and to his far post to block a really nice shot from distance.
  • GOAL, Atlanta 2-0 RSL 33’ Cisneros again — it’s another good finish, and this time it’s Pablo Ruiz giving the ball away that springs the home side. Once again, he splits the two center backs.
  • GOAL, Atlanta 2-1 RSL 37’ Johan Kappelhof finishes a really nice cross from Justin Meram, and his header is perfectly placed and powered. That’s just excellent, and a nice bit of penance for the first goal RSL conceded. It’s also Kappelhof’s first-ever MLS goal, which you wouldn’t expect given the quality of that shot.
  • 41’ Justin Meram has an excellent shot in the box, but it slams off Rubio Rubin. Meram does a little ground pound in anger.
  • 45’ Erik Holt goes sliding through a player, earning a yellow card for his trouble. It’s an absolutely crunching tackle. Free kick coming from a great spot for Atlanta, and it’s taken to the top corner — but MacMath is keen to it and prevents a 3-1 scoreline heading into halftime.
  • HT Jasper Löffelsend and Sergio Cordova replace Diego Luna and Pablo Ruiz, respectively.
  • 56’ Nick Besler is shown a yellow card for stopping an Aiden McFadden breakaway.
  • 62’ Maikel Chang enters for Tate Schmitt.
  • 68’ Bode Hidalgo and Chris Kablan enter for Justin Meram and Andrew Brody.
  • 69’ Sergio Cordova sends a ball home, but it’s from an offside position — and it’s not particularly close.
  • 79’ Atlanta United sparks a counterattack, but they don’t finish well, and Aaron Herrera makes a key sliding stop near the goal line to keep the game within touching distance.
  • 89’ There’s really been nothing of note for RSL in the last 10 minutes, but they’re attacking. I just wanted you to know that.
  • 90+3’ The game is over after a scuffed Zac MacMath shot in the box from a corner, and RSL have only themselves to blame for the outcome here. A deserved result, but Atlanta was bad. RSL should not be OK with this result. After all, Atlanta gave the team repeated opportunities to score in the final 15 minutes, and especially in the last five minutes.