Real Salt Lake went in to Wednesday night’s game on the outside looking in and if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive, RSL would have to defeat Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL would do so in dominating fashion, 4-0.
Through the whole season RSL had a tough time coming out of the gates with energy but that was not the case against Chivas. RSL was the aggressor for the entire game, something to which RSL fans are not accustomed, but head coach Jason Kries loved the effort.
“I think they answered the call with flying colors,” Kries said. “As I’ve said many times, to them and many other people, when they put in the effort and commitment we get points.”
RSL had five shots on goal in the first half while Chivas could only manage one. That one shot on goal was the only chance Chivas had the entire game and it came in the 23rd minute.
Chivas had a corner kick, it was headed out by an RSL player and a Chivas player grounded it toward the goal. Goal Keeper Nick Rimando then made a diving stop to his right and it was all RSL the rest of the match.
RSL would hit the twine in the 43rd minute when forward Pablo Campos was fed a perfect pass by forward Fabian Espindola in the box, and with a quick shake Rio Tinto erupted.
RSL dominated the second half as well. It seemed that Chivas was on their heals the entire game, playing not to lose rather than to win and RSL capitalized.
RSL would then strike a second time in the 75th minute on an unassisted goal by Espindola. After some fancy footwork, Espindola hit the back of the net, the matracas were in full swing, the drums created thunder on a cloudless night in Salt Lake City and RSL led two-nil.
To add icing onto the already sweet cake, in the 85th and the 89th minute forward Robbie Findley scored two unassisted goals giving RSL an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
The four goals would obviously prove to be enough to take down third place Chivas USA and with this win RSL has an 8-9-6 record and 30 total points, which puts them in a tie with three teams for the final two playoff spots.
Time is running out for the claret and cobalt, and from here on out RSL has to play with the same sense of urgency and will try and do so for the last seven games of the regular season.