Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SANDY — Real Salt Lake rallied to score a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes, but it wasn’t enough in a 3-2 road loss against Minnesota United FC Sunday.
Minnesota took an early lead when Kemar Lawrence sent a long ground cross in front of goal that ended up with Emanuel Reynoso, who cut inside the box and slotted one home past Zac MacMath in the ninth minute.
A normally defensively stout RSL team looked disorganized and lackadaisical in the absence of center back mainstay Justen Glad, who was out with a minor hamstring injury.
Reynoso and the other Minnesota attacking players had their way in the attacking third, cutting and passing across and around the RSL defenders, who struggled to flip the field.
Sergio Cordova had a chance to bring RSL level in the 19th minute off a deep cross from Jefferson Savarino, but his first touch sent the ball over the goal and out of bounds.
Minnesota continued to hound the RSL goal and live in the attacking third. One chance from the right side of the box deflected off the goal post and was able to be cleared, with RSL narrowly escaping going down a second goal in the first half.
Pablo Ruiz fired a shot from outside the box in the 29th minute that went curling into the upper left 90, but Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair was able to leap and get to it, keeping RSL scoreless.
Ruiz got the first yellow card of the game for RSL just minutes later in the 33rd minute on a challenge in the team’s attacking third following a rebound from the box. Aaron Herrera got the second yellow soon after, as the frustration and lack of discipline threatened to spiral the game out of control for RSL.
Herrera was called for another foul, but spared a card, during first-half stoppage time when he slid in late for a tackle in his own box. Minnesota was awarded a penalty and MacMath blocked the initial shot, but Reynoso put back the rebound to take a 2-0 lead over RSL at the half.
Robin Lod nearly put Minnesota up 3-0 in the opening minutes of the second half, but MacMath was able to push the shot off the goal post and then cover up the ball.
Head coach Pablo Mastroeni elected to bring on normal starter Jasper Loffelsend in place of Scott Caldwell to start the second half, and super-sub Anderson Julio came on for Rubio Rubin up top just 10 minutes into the second half.
Reynoso found Luis Amarilla on a breakaway in the 61st minute and the striker put Minnesota up 3-0 as the RSL desperation reached dangerous levels on the road.
Mastroeni sent in another pair of subs in the 66th minute, with Erik Holt returning from injury to replace Herrera and Maikel Chang replacing Justin Meram.
The subs paid off just five minutes later as Chang sent a ground cross in front of goal and Savarino was able to barely get a touch and send the ball stumbling across the goal line, cutting the deficit to 3-1 in the 71st minute.
Cordova had a chance just minutes later on a breakaway, but St. Clair got to the shot just in time to send it out of bounds for a corner kick. Julio got on the end of the ensuing cross and headed one home to pull RSL back within one, 3-2, in the 76th minute.
The goal from Julio was his first since last season when he had eight total. He returned to RSL during the transfer window in May and was plagued by injuries upon his return until now.
RSL returns home next Saturday to take on rival Colorado Rapids at 8 p.m. MDT at Rio Tinto Stadium.