Los Angeles Football Club 2, Real Salt Lake 3 | 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Recap
Jefferson Savarino's shot deflected off the head of Walker Zimmerman and into the LAFC net in the 69th minute, and the own goal ended up being the winner. RSL, the sixth seed in the West, overcame a 2-1 second-half deficit and got a brace from leading scorer Damir Kreilach to advance to play top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference Semifinals.
LAFC, the third seed, missed a golden opportunity for a playoff win in their first season of existence, and their successful season came to a quick end.
Kreilach's second goal – a stunning hit from just outside the area – tied the score at two in the 58th minute right after Christian Ramirez gave LAFC its first lead. Kreilach scored in the 21st minute off a long cross from Brooks Lennon over the head of LAFC defender Danilo Silva to give RSL a 1-0 lead.
Silva atoned when he headed in Carlos Vela's free kick in the 31st minute. Immediately afterward, the game was suspended for five minutes in the first half due to objects thrown on the field from the supporters' section.
LAFC had to make a halftime substitution when Adama Diomande could not continue, and Ramirez entered the game and scored moments later. RSL survived a number of late chances and seven minutes of added extra time in the second half to advance.
- 21' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH
- 49' – LAFC – Danilo Silva | WATCH
- 54' – LAFC – Christian Ramirez | WATCH
- 58' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH
- 69' – RSL – Walker Zimmerman (OG) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Real Salt Lake's season was all but over on Decision Day with the LA Galaxy winning 2-0 against Houston. But the Galaxy folded, backing RSL into the sixth seed, and against an LAFC team on the road on Thursday, RSL made it happen. Coach Mike Petke's team will get a home playoff leg, and are playing with house money now. For LAFC it was a night to forget, from unruly supporters to too many missed chances to a sudden end to a memorable first season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Kreilach's second goal was mind-blowing. Almost as cool as Ralph Macchio's crane kick in "The Karate Kid," and eerily similar.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Damir Kreilach, who scored twice and was very much involved in the play that set up the own goal. With honorable mention to Nick Rimando and his six saves, despite having objects thrown at him from the stands and taking the brunt of a collision with Zimmerman in the second half.
- LAFC: End of season.
- RSL: Western Conference Semifinals | Leg 1, Sunday, November 4 vs. Sporting Kansas City (10 pm ET | FS1, TSN, TVAS