Real Salt Lake was unable to score Saturday and lost 1-0 to D.C. United on a 60th minute rebound put away by Lionard Pajoy.
The 60th minute game winner came when John Thorrington sent a chip shot at the upper left corner of the net, forcing Rimando to make a leaping save that would certainly have earned Save of the Week honors if the rebound had not fallen to a barely onside Lionard Pajoy. The D.C. forward easily put the rebound away in the match’s only goal.
“[We were] very unlucky on the goal situation, because it was literally inches [from being offside],” coach Jason Kreis said. “I mean, that player is on, a step ahead them. By a few inches or a few feet more out of the goal, then it would have been a clear offside.”
Salt Lake only put two shots on goal, but its best opportunity didn’t get on frame. Robbie Findley’s 30th minute cross to Alvaro Saborio was deflected by Bill Hamid just enough to prevent the Costa Rican striker from giving his side a first-half lead at the far post.
Salt Lake did start to take control following Pajoy’s goal, but they were unable to convert an equalizer.
“Our response from when they scored the goal was great,” goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. “We had some opportunities, but again, when you go on the road to a good team, you’re not always going to get the results you want.”
Salt Lake was missing four regular starters for Saturday’s match in Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy, Chris Wingert, and Nat Borchers.
While Salt Lake’s defense performed admirably, keeping the match scoreless except for Pajoy’s rebounded strike, the midfield failed to maintain possession and create chances. As a result, D.C. had time to put six shots on target and were able to keep Salt Lake off the board.
Real Salt Lake returns home for its season opener next Saturday against its Rocky Mountain rival, the Colorado Rapids.