Real Salt Lake’s week went from bad to worse on Saturday night as RSL dropped its second straight league match at home to Western Conference opponents, falling to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in another baffling performance.
While Real had several scoring opportunities early in the match, none of those efforts found the back of the net. That lack of finishing proved to be crucial as the home side was doomed yet again by a pair of defensive miscues.
After a scoreless first half, San Jose jumped out to a lead in the 75th minute when Alan Gordon took advantage of a bounce that fell in between RSL’s Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando, finishing emphatically in front of a dismayed crowd of just over 18,000 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Javier Morales equalized for Real on a well-placed free kick four minutes later, earning his first goal since March 10 after missing a number of games through injury.
However, that effort was nullified by yet another key mistake at the back as Chris Wondolowski found himself directly in front of goal after a long Justin Morrow throw-in that was played along by Gordon. Wondolowski’s shot bounced off of Rimando’s hand and into the net for the game winner.
RSL head coach Jason Kreis spoke about his anger and disappointment after dropping two matches:
“I don’t know a time that I felt as mad as I do right now… We had a ton of chances where we don’t finish in their box and they created a couple of chances and finished.”
Kreis felt that his team had not been outplayed, despite the result. When asked about Real’s performance at home in the last two matches, he added:
“We just need to correct some small things. For me it’s two games in a row. Honest to God, we didn’t lose the game, we gave the game away, twice in a row, so if someone comes in here and beats us from end line to end line for 90 minutes then I will have a different answer for you, but right now we are beating ourselves.”
In addition, captain Kyle Beckerman received a caution for dissent and will be suspended for next weekend’s match at Columbus due to yellow card accumulation.
Midfielder Will Johnson remarked upon what RSL needs to do to get back into form next week:
“We need to get mentally tougher and stop conceding goals. We are just conceding so many soft goals right now and making it hard on ourselves and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves when we get in front of goal, knowing that we have to score multiple goals to win games.”
Meanwhile, the Earthquakes were obviously pleased with the result. Wondolowski said of his team’s effort:
“I think a lot of times, especially coming into Rio Tinto, teams would be content with just trying to come away with a 0-0 tie . We try to go out there and press the game, play our game, but we never give up—like the Goonies say, ‘Never say die.’ It’s fun to be a part of.”
REAL SALT LAKE 1:2 San Jose earthquakes
SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012
Rio Tinto Stadium
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
San Jose Earthquakes 0 2 2
SJ – Alan Gordon (Corrales) 75’
RSL – Javier Morales 79’
SJ – Steven Wondolowski (Gordon, Morrow) 84’
SJ – Khari Stephenson (Foul, Yellow Card) 41’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Foul, Yellow Card) 45’
RSL – Fabian Espίndola 90’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando (GK); Terakazu Tanaka (Luis Gil 72’), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran (Paulo Jr. 89’), Kyle Beckerman (c), Ned Grabavoy (Jonny Steele 59’), Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Álvaro Saborίo, Fabian Espίndola
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Chris Estridge
San Jose Earthquakes (4-1-2-1-2) – Jon Busch (GK); Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales(c), Jason Hernandez, Marvin Chavez, Simon Dawkins (Shea Salinas 66’), Justin Morrow, Khari Stephenson (Jean-Marc Alexandre 84’), Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 59’), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham (GK); Rafael Baca, Tressor Moreno, Ike Opara,
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 99 degrees