Lovel Palmer fired a shot from distance that took a friendly bounce off a defender’s foot and floated into the back of the net.
The seventh-minute own goal in Saturday’s match against Montreal was Real Salt Lake’s fastest score of the season, and only the third first-half goal for the team all year.
But while RSL rejoiced early, it was a late collapse that left the team leaving Canada without a point.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t feel like we’ve had a lot of early leads this year,” coach Jason Kreis said, after falling to the Impact 3-2. “It feels like we’re always kind of responding to adversity. And to be in the driver seat there in the beginning of the game had a little bit of a different feel.”
Now RSL will once again have to respond to adversity.
Real Salt Lake won’t have the advantage of returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for a home game this week to right the ship. Instead, RSL will be back on the road for a Sunday night rematch with Chivas USA. In the Goats, RSL will face a team that has been winless in its last five matches after a surprisingly hot start to the season.
RSL went into Montreal playing with house money after taking three points a few nights early in New England.
But while RSL created plenty of chances, including a Joao Plata shot from point blank that would have allowed Salt Lake to reclaim the lead late in the game, the loss certainly leaves a bitter taste.
“Amateur way to fall to a team that I thought we played a good game to,” goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. “The amount of veterans we have on this team, we should be able to pull a tie back and know that a point on the road is OK. ... So it’s disappointing for sure, but we’ve got to move on.”
RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, who scored his first goal of the season to give RSL a 2-1 lead Saturday, said he hopes the loss will be a lesson.
“Of course we’re disappointed and frustrated, but we’ve got to try and learn from it,” he said. “I think a loss like this can really help us going forward to really try to learn from it. Get a good week of practice in and hopefully the next time we get into this position, we’ll get something out of it.”
RSL at Chivas USA
P Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
TV • CW30