After an almost 90-minute lightning delay, Real Salt Lake gained an important 1-0 win against D.C. United. It wasn’t the blow-out RSL fans were hoping for, but this win gave the team the advantage needed to maintain their second place in the Western Conference.
This match broke RSL’s four-game losing streak, sending their one-time opponents back to D.C. with no points.
The RSL goal occurred at the beginning of the second half, when midfielder Will Johnson headed the ball unassisted past D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s hands and into the box. The goal Johnson scored was his first since the match five games ago against Colorado Rapids.
RSL battled through a rough first half as D.C. United players Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius delivered strong shots on goal, either not on target or deflected by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
For Rimando, this was a great night to prove his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer this year.
The best save of the game was Rimando’s deflection of De Rosario’s attempted foul kick which saved RSL from a potential tie.
The tension and excitement of the fans was amplified because of the hour and a half lightning delay within the first few minutes as well as the tough calls against RSL before halftime. RSL struggled through the first half to maintain possession and stop D.C. United from advancing.
In the end, RSL’s early goal in the second half and aggressive offense were enough to prevent D.C. United from coming out ahead.
RSL will hit the road next weekend to play against Houston Dynamo Thursday, September 6.