Real Salt Lake got battered by the Los Angeles Galaxy for much of the first half on Saturday night, but weathered the storm, then took advantage of some poor defending to capture a 2-1 win. LA couldn't capitalize on their early chances, and their defensive injuries showed.
Robbie Keane scored the game's first goal with an absolutely beautiful strike, a volley from a Juninho cross in the 17th minute that beat Nick Rimando at his far post. While it was a great goal, the bad news for LA is that they should have scored a couple times before that, as well as a couple of times at the end of the half. They would eventually pay for their shaky finishing.
RSL's 25th minute equalizer came by way of Fabian Espindola, who ran straight through the Galaxy defense and onto a through ball by Alvaro Saborio before finishing calmly. Three minutes later, he caught the entire Galaxy defense standing flat-footed when he rose up to meet a ball by Javier Morales and headed it into the back of the net. Sean Franklin failed to track his run, Tommy Meyer didn't move, and Omar Gonzalez may have ducked.
The beginning of the second half featured the Galaxy picking up where they left off in the second half -- with their onslaught of RSL's goal, not their terrible defending. Fill-in defenders Meyer and Bryan Gaul played much better in the second half, but LA couldn't find an equalizer. Rimando, along with his defensive pair of Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave, put together an excellent second half performance to preserve RSL's win.
It's kind of a new thing for MLS teams to play two league road games at the same stadium in one year, so don't put too much stock in the soon-to-be often-repeated "statistic" that Real Salt Lake are the first team to ever win twice away to the Galaxy in the same season.
However, it's still notable that RSL won two road games against the same good team in the same year. This is going to help Real Salt Lake distance themselves from a play-in game and fourth place, a spot LA might occupy shortly.