COLUMBUS, Ohio (Saturday, May 28, 2016) – Real Salt Lake continued its five-game road stretch on Saturday and despite a three-goal effort on the offensive side, fell to Columbus Crew SC 4-3 thanks to a hat trick from Crew SC forward Ola Kamara in a weather-delayed match that kicked off over 90 minutes after its scheduled start time.
MF Luke Mulholland and FW Joao Plata both had a goal and an assist and FW Jordan Allenadded another goal for RSL, but the comeback came up short after Kamara scored three goals and RSL let in an own-goal as the Claret-and-Cobalt slipped to 1-3-0 last four matches – all on the road – and 6-4-2 overall.
RSL opened scoring, but Columbus responded with two goals in a three-minute stretch to snatch the lead.
In the 13th minute, RSL went on the counter-attack to take the 1-0 lead. After winning the ball, Mulholland played the ball to Plata up the left channel before taking a return pass 25 yards from goal. He carried the ball toward the center, then ripped a right-footed shot that bent inside the far post to beat Steve Clark for Mulholland’s second goal of the season.
However, Columbus bounced right back with two goals to take back control.
In the 17th minute, Kamara equalized with his first MLS goal.
Corey Ashe led Justin Meram up the left sideline and he carried all the way into the box, cutting towards goal before playing the ball across the six-yard box between two defenders to Kamara for the first-time goal to even the tally at 1-1.
Three minutes later, Meram applied pressure in RSL’s defensive third and while DF Aaron Maund nicked the ball away from him, it deflected off of DF Justen Glad and into the open net, as GK Nick Rimando came off his line to defend the loose ball and RSL’s first own-goal conceded this year gave Columbus the 2-1 lead.
In first-half stoppage time, Real Salt Lake was awarded a penalty and Plata had the opportunity to equalize, but Clark made the save.
Mulholland won the ball off of Saravia in the Columbus box and was then taken down by Saravia attempting to make the recovery. Initially, referee David Gantar played the advantage, but after FW Devon Sandoval’s shot was deflected, he pointed to the spot and whistled the penalty.
Plata stepped to the spot and fired to Clark’s right, but the Crew SC goalkeeper beat the ball to the post and made the save and RSL went into the half trailing 2-1.
The score would stay that way until the 64th minute when Kamara scored his second of the night. Meram sent the ball to Waylon Francis up the left flank and the substitute defender crossed to Kamara, who split the RSL center backs to head it home for the 3-1 lead.
Ten minutes later, he completed the hat trick on a corner kick delivered from Federico Higuain to make it 4-1 in the 74th minute.
From there, RSL went on the comeback trail.
First, DF Demar Phillips crossed for Allen in the 78th minute for a header that beat Clark to cut the lead to 4-2.
Then in a scramble in the box Jimenez attempted a clearance and the ball caromed off of Mulholland to Plata for an opportunistic score to make it 4-3, but that’s as close as the score would get.
Real Salt Lake was outshot 21-9, but Rimando finished the night with six saves – including four on shots from Kamara alone – to keep RSL in the match.
Salt Lake will finish off the five-match road stretch while the field at Rio Tinto Stadium is replaced on Thursday against New York City FC. It’s is RSL’s first ever match at Yankee Stadium.
GAME NOTES – SKCvRSL
– MF Kyle Beckerman was out of the lineup Saturday while away with the U.S. National Team preparing for Copa America Centenario. The U.S. opens the tournament June 3 against Colombia.
– Real Salt Lake is just 1-8-1 all-time in Columbus in MLS regular season play.
– The start of the match was delayed 92 minutes because of weather. It was RSL’s second road match in 15 days to be delayed because of weather after the match scheduled for May 14 in Houston was postponed until May 15 because of a storm.
– RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar was ejected from the match in second half stoppage time. He will not be available to coach RSL’s match at Yankee Stadium Thursday against NYCFC.
COLUMBUS CREW SC 4-3 REAL SALT LAKE
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Columbus Crew SC 2 2 4
RSL: Luke Mulholland (Joao Plata) 13’
CLB: Ola Kamara (Justin Meram, Corey Ashe) 17’
CLB: Justen Glad (OG) 20’
CLB: Ola Kamara (Waylon Francis, Justin Meram) 64’
CLB: Ola Kamara (Federico Higuain) 74’
RSL: Jordan Allen (Demar Phillips) 78’
RSL: Joao Plata (Luke Mulholland) 83’
RSL: Aaron Maund (Caution; Foul) 41’
CLB: Mohammed Saied (Caution; Foul) 81’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Sunday Stephen (Yura Movsisyan 84’), John Stertzer (Javier Morales 60’); Jordan Allen, Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata; Devon Sandoval (Juan Manuel Martinez 60’).
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Olmes Garcia, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert.
Columbus Crew SC (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark; Hector Jimenez, Michael Parkhurst, Rodrigo Saravia, Corey Ashe (Waylon Francis 63’); Wil Trapp, Mohammed Saied; Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain (Chad Barson 94+’), Justin Meram (Emil Larson 73’); Ola Kamara.
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Conor Casey, Cristian Martinez, Ben Swanson.