Real Salt Lake needed a win to maintain any semblance of a push for a Western Conference playoff spot tonight against FC Cincinnati, led by former-potential-RSL-coach Pat Noonan.
They didn’t do that.
Instead, what we saw was RSL getting two favorable — and correct — VAR calls in their favor, and they still managed to implode in the first half. RSL opened the scoring in the first half with a really nice Maikel Chang goal, getting on the end of a great Jefferson Savarino cross from the right wing. It was exactly what you’d hope for from Savarino playing wide, which he didn’t have opportunity to do much in the match.
A nice goal, certainly, but it wasn’t enough. Cincinnati’s Brenner scored an equalizer after he was left criminally alone in the box, and he finished past Zac MacMath, who got something on the ball, but not nearly enough.
And then it happened. Pablo Ruiz took a penalty. Sergio Cordova was fouled in the box — a totally unnecessary foul, it must be said, as the ball was getting away from him. Ruiz’s penalty? It was also unnecessary, because he could have just kicked it out for a throw-in with equal effect. It was low, slow, and narrow.
Cincinnati’s second goal came from Brenner again, and he finds himself in the middle of the box with the ball at his feet, MacMath rushing forward, and nobody on him. It was a smart, simple finish.
Anyway, there’s the game. Not a good one, huh? Let’s see how results shake out tonight, but it sure looks like RSL is out of a playoff spot as of now.