Sandy • The printer in Mike Petke's office may be busted, but Real Salt Lake's unbeaten streak is not.
With their manager watching from a box in the stadium — as he served a suspension for an ejection followed by postgame rant that would have included more visual aids if not for some technical difficulties with the machine in his office — RSL played the Columbus Crew to a 2-2 tie on Saturday night.
They have now gone four games without a loss. But after back-to-back draws at home, Petke's players know they have left precious points on the table.
"We want to take the next step," captain Kyle Beckerman said, "and in order to do that we have to win those home games."
RSL led 2-1 after second-half goals from Joao Plata and Jefferson Savarino. Columbus' Ola Kamara, however, leveled the contest in the 60th minute with his second goal of the night.
With the draw, RSL is now 7-12-4 (25 points) on the season — and two spots below the red line for the last playoff position in the West.
"You always want to win. The plan was to win," said RSL assistant coach Freddy Juarez, who filled in for Petke on the sideline. "But right now we're in a situation where we've got to collect points."
On paper, the Crew provided a prime opportunity for a victory. Columbus came to town to play its third game in eight days. The team was without two starting center backs and one of its top goal scorers.
Instead, RSL came out sluggish and fell behind early.
"We didn't talk about it to the point that, 'Hey, it's going to be easy,' " Petke said. "But the emphasis was that we need to put them on the back foot. We need to dictate this game. We need to get them running. We need to suck the wind out of them. … And, I thought, at times we looked like the team that had played three games this week."
Left back Danny Acosta was beaten to a ball along the right touch line and defenders Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva both whiffed on chances at clearances before Kamara buried his first goal of the night.
That allowed an already defensive-minded club to bunker in even more.
"We expected them to play from behind and defend," said RSL midfielder Albert Rusnák. "This was probably more than we expected. They had 11 men behind the ball. [It's] really hard to break down."
A handball in the 50th minute put RSL on the penalty spot, where Plata picked out the top left corner for his sixth goal of the year. Three minutes later, RSL midfielder Savarino was streaking down the right side and hitting home a go-ahead goal.
But another breakdown led to Columbus' equalizer. The Crew took advantage of a giveaway and midfielder Ethan Finley pinged the crossbar with a shot. With goalkeeper Nick Rimando scrambling to get back into the frame, Kamara hit home his 11th goal of the season to level things up in the 60th minute.
RSL attempted 20 shots to Columbus' six, but missed on their opportunities for a go-ahead goal.
"Goals change games," Beckerman said. "If we struggled in the first half, we still had three good, golden opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. It's a bummer, because we did enough to win the game tonight."