Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0, Real Salt Lake 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
RSL secured third place in the Western Conference and a home playoff game with the win. They will host the sixth-place Portland Timbers in the first round later this month.
Real Salt Lake (16-13-5) were close to adding to their lead in the 32nd minute with several attempts on net from close range in the same possession, but the Whitecaps cleared the ball away.
Real Salt Lake began the day in fifth place and facing a road game in the first round, but Decision Day results broke their way.
Nick Rimando, in his final MLS regular season game before he retires, finished with five saves and a clean sheet, including tipping away a Michaell Chirinos header in the 55th minute and just getting his fingertips on what looked like a certain Chirinos goal in the 69th minute, forcing the ball off the far post.
Vancouver finished the season 8-16-10 despite going undefeated with two wins over their previous three matches.
- 28' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: What a day for Real Salt Lake, who not only earned the right to host a playoff game but landed the third seed. RSL were very close to giving up a tying goal a few times, but Rimando was there to save them on each occasion. For the Whitecaps, the looking ahead to next season had already begun some time ago, and they will have plenty of work to do after a last-place finish in the West.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Rimando didn't stop the ball here, but he stopped what was about to be a Chirinos goal with his fingertips.
69'- Phew! 😱 pic.twitter.com/OfALdarzVv— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) October 6, 2019
MAN OF THE MATCH: Donny Toia deserves a mention here for his setup work from out of the back. So does Kreilach for the goal. But RSL might want to consider trying to coax Rimando out of retirement, if they haven't tried already.
- Vancouver: End of season.
- RSL: Saturday, Oct. 19 vs. Portland, 10 pm ET (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes) | Round One, Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs