RSL score twice in second half, edge Whitecaps

League: MLS

Posted on: 24 Mar, 2024 at 02:28 AM

Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson Julio and Alexandros Katranis scored in the second half as Real Salt Lake rallied to hand the host Vancouver Whitecaps their first loss of the season 2-1 on Saturday night.

Fidel Barajas had two assists in his first MLS start for Real Salt Lake (2-2-1, 7 points), which finished with a 21-7 edge in shot attempts. Zac MacMath made two saves.

Damir Kreilach scored and Yohei Takaoka finished with three saves for Vancouver (2-1-1, 7 points), which came up short in its quest for its best four-game start in the team's MLS history.

It was Kreilach's first MLS goal for the Whitecaps. The 34-year-old Croatian midfielder had scored 47 goals in his previous six seasons with RSL, the final two as captain.

Vancouver, which didn't attempt a shot in the first 25 minutes, took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute when Brian White slotted a through pass between a pair of RSL defenders to Kreilach breaking into the middle of the box. Kreilach then booted a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net.

RSL, behind the play of 17-year-old midfielder Barajas, turned up the pressure in the second half. Barajas blasted a left-footed shot from outside the box off the far right post in the 54th minute and then hammered a left-footed shot off the underside of the crossbar two minutes later.

Barajas, a highly-touted duo international for Mexico and the United States, then displayed his playmaking skills in the 70th minute by slotting a pass past defenders to Julio in the middle of the box, where Julio booted a right-footed shot into the middle of the net to tie the game 1-1.

Six minutes later, Barajas picked up another assist when Katranis, also making his first MLS start, floated a left-footed shot off his pass to the left-corner of the box over Takaoka and into the far right corner of the net for the game-winner.

--Field Level Media