Real Salt Lake extends dominance of Colorado with shutout win

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, left, who is retiring at the end of the season, celebrates with teammate Damir Kreilach after playing in his last regular season MLS soccer game, a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, in Vancouver, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Albert Rusnak scored on a rebound in the first half, Damir Kreilach added a goal late in the second half and Real Salt Lake extended its dominance of Colorado with a 2-0 win Sunday night.

The Rocky Mountain showdown on the first night of action in Group D of the MLS is Back tournament remained one-sided. Real Salt Lake won for the 10th time in the past 13 matches against Colorado dating to 2015. The Rapids have managed just two wins and one draw against RSL during that span.

Rusnak was heavily involved in all the action for RSL. He scored in the 27th minute to give RSL the early advantage, collecting a deflected cross and slipping the rebound past Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin and defender Drew Moor.

Rusnak failed on a chance to extend RSL’s lead in the 70th minute after Irwin tackled Douglas Martinez and a penalty was awarded. Irwin made up for the foul by saving Rusnak’s penalty and also denied Nick Besler’s rebound attempt.

But RSL opened a two-goal advantage when Irwin was unable to reach Kreilach’s shot from the top of the penalty area minutes later.

It was the first win of the season for RSL (1-0-2), who started with draws against Orlando City and New York Red Bulls prior to the league’s shutdown in March.

Colorado had just four shots on target and its best chance didn’t come until late in the match when Kellyn Acosta’s deflected shot from distance became a difficult save for RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

It was the first loss of the season for Colorado (2-1-0) after the Rapids opened with wins over D.C. United and Orlando City.

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