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Mar 23, 2024 10:28 pm

RSL score twice in second half, edge Whitecaps

Real Salt Lake Whitecaps

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

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