SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (14-10-6, 48 points, West #2) fell to the San Jose Earthquakes (11-11-8, 41 points, West #7) 2-1 at a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night, allowing two goals from FW Steven Lenhart in the space of three minutes in the first half to drop its second straight match.
All three goals came within a three minute span in the first half, with Lenhart putting the Quakes on top in the 18th, RSL MF Javier Morales equalizing in the 19th and Lenhart scoring the winner in the 21st.
Lenhart gave San Jose the lead in the 18th minute. MF Cordell Cato collected a ball on the right flank, whipping a ball in that Lenhart got on the end of at the top right corner of the six yard box. RSL GK Nick Rimando had no chance to stop the ensuing header, which Lenhart powered home inside the near post.
RSL responded immediately, with Morales finishing Captain Kyle Beckerman’s corner kick to knot things at 1-1 in the 19th minute. Beckerman served in an in swinging ball from the right corner that flew just over a gaggle of players at the near post and fell to an unmarked Morales at the top of the six. The Argentine playmaker took advantage of the opportunity, finishing his left-footer into the top left corner with his first touch.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis
On whether his team’s effort was to blame for the final result:
“It’s a difficult thing. I’m not going to fault the effort of the group, because I think they worked extremely hard to break down a team that sat their players extremely defensively tonight.”
On Lenhart’s two goals in the first half:
“When it comes to the two goals against us, I thought it was just a lack of focus to stay with marks in the box. Those balls were served into the box, and headed by the same player who was literally unmarked both times. It’s not good enough.”
On his team’s struggles to defend set pieces:
“It’s just individual plays. It’s about whether or not you’re going to make a play against your mark. It’s about whether you’re going to be physically outmuscled by the forward that you’re marking, or whether you’re going to take that extra half a second to nap. That means he gets behind you, and he’s going to have a chance. For me, we can work on it in training all we want, but in the game it just comes down to focus and commitment.”\
Goals and Assists
|SJ||18'||Steven Lenhart||(Cordell Cato)|
|RSL||19'||Javier Morales||(Kyle Beckerman)|
|SJ||21'||Steven Lenhart||(Shea Salinas)|
|SJ||90' + 3||Jon Busch||Time wasting||Yellow|
|Real Salt Lake||San Jose Earthquakes|
|17||Attempts on Goal||8|
|3||Shots on Target||5|
|9||Shots off Target||2|
|34||Open Play Crosses||16|
|1||First Yellow Cards||3|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|51%||Duels Won %||48%|
|83%||Passing Accuracy %||70%|