CARSON, Calif. (ABC 4 Sports) - Fabian Espindola scored goals about 2½ minutes apart midway through the first half and Real Salt Lake beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 Saturday night.
The win helped Real's chances of finishing the top two of the Western Conference.
Espindola scored in the 25th and 28th minutes to help RSL (17-11-4) overcome an early deficit to pull five points ahead of the Galaxy (15-12-5) and six in front of Seattle in the battle for second place in the Western Conference. RSL and L.A. have two games remaining; Seattle, which plays Portland on Sunday, has four left.
“I like to play against LA," said Espindola. "This is a huge field, it’s so difficult for defenders to mark and I think that’s good for us. We’re a team that’s good with the ball so it works because the other teams get so tired when they don’t get the ball in those spaces.”
“It was just a fun game to be apart of," said head coach Jason Kreis. "I was thinking all week how fun this game could be. What a great experience it is to play in front of this crowd, against a team that's such quality as the Galaxy. It was just a fun night.”
The fourth-place team must win a wild-card game to enter the playoff bracket.
The Galaxy struck first, on a superb Robbie Keane volley in the 17th minute, but struggled to break down RSL's defense in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center.
L.A. star Landon Donovan limped off with a leg injury with about 10 minutes remaining.
"We never quit, we never stopped," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "It's one of those things that we've been in that situation before and we know how to bounce back. When we play as a team we are able to do that, and tonight that's exactly what happened when we went down the goal.”
RSL is now off until October 17th when they play at Seattle. First kick is set for 8:00 p.m. on CW30.