Walker Zimmerman's stoppage-time blast lifts LAFC over RSL
Walker Zimmerman gained some personal redemption as his stoppage-time goal led Los Angeles Football Club to a 2-1 win over visiting Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Los Angeles outshot Salt Lake by a 19-3 margin (7-1 in shots on net) and had over two-thirds of the possession, yet it took Zimmerman's right-footed blast -- a 27-yarder that knuckled and dipped while freezing Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando -- in the 92nd minute to seal the three points for the home side.
In the knockout round of last season's MLS Cup playoffs, Salt Lake eliminated LAFC thanks to an own goal from Zimmerman that ended up being the deciding score.
As much as LAFC dominated the run of play on Saturday, it was Salt Lake who opened the scoring. Latif Blessing's foul in the box on Sebastian Saucedo led to a penalty kick in the 35th minute, with Damir Kreilach burying the chance to open his account for the 2019 season.
Los Angeles equalized five minutes later. RSL defender Donny Toia's attempt at breaking up a pass led to the ball being deflected right to Diego Rossi, who converted his second goal of the season.
Rimando delivered a big performance to keep his club in the game. The 20th veteran, who plans to retire after the season, made five saves, including a diving stop to deny Carlos Vela in the 29th minute.
Just when it seemed as if RSL's defense might steal a point, substitute Justin Portillo was ejected on a red card just nine minutes after he entered the match. Down to 10 men, Salt Lake finally conceded another score.
Los Angeles extended its unbeaten start to the regular season, improving to 3-0-1. Real Salt Lake dropped to 1-2-1 through four games.
Both teams had multiple regulars away on international duty, plus Salt Lake had even more of its first-choice lineup missing due to suspensions and injuries. As a result, RSL dug into its reserves to field a Starting XI that included a league-record six homegrown players.