After one completed half of soccer during the Western Conference MLS Decision Day window, the only game that was goalless was Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake. In the end, that game had the goal and the missed call that changed everything. Real Salt Lake scored in the 95th minute thanks to a marvelous poached effort from Damir Kreilach, which sent Real Salt Lake to the postseason and caused the Galaxy to crash out. Here is your Decision Day Western Conference breakdown for games involving teams on the playoff line.
MLS Decision Day: RSL sneak into playoffs at the death thanks to handball no-call
Los Angeles Galaxy 3 – Minnesota United 3
We’ll start here since this result had as much to do with the outcomes as Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake. Minnesota was the better team for most of the match, and they happened to get up 2-0 in the first half. Adrian Hunou scored a goal that VAR overturned the original call of offside on the field. Hunou’s run was perfect and Lod shortly made it 2-0. But on the stroke of halftime, Sebastian Lletget made it 2-1, giving the galaxy some life. Nearly immediately on the restart, Chicharito scored a wonderful strike from distance to level it. Julian Araujo’s own goal put the Galaxy down again, but Chicharito stepped up yet again to get the Galaxy level. If the results elsewhere held, the Galaxy would be into the postseason. Instead, Real Salt Lake go in as the Galaxy searched for a winner at the end. In the 91st minute, you could see Greg Vanney yelling that his team needed another goal, and they nearly got one, but it went wide. The final whistle ended their season, making no team from Texas or California in the playoffs this year.
Sporting KC 0 – Real Salt Lake 1
The entire first 88 minutes of the Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake match were a snoozefest. There was one shot on target in the first half, which came in the 5th minute. RSL wasn’t pushing the buttons too much, and Sporting KC wasn’t really creating anything of note. In the second half, the game began to come to life, but nothing reached the madness that began before the 90th minute. In the 89th minute, a long ball over the top to Roger Espinoza bounced in his favor inside the box. Justen Glad palmed the ball away from Espinoza and directly to his goalkeeper. Replays on TV showed it was an obvious handball and it seemed like it was destined for VAR to give Sporting a penalty kick late to win the Western Conference.
— x – Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) November 8, 2021
According to the match officials, these angles did not provide them with a clear and obvious error to recommend reviewing.
Here is the response from tonight's match official in regards to the blown handball call:
— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) November 8, 2021
Real Salt Lake pushed the final five minutes and in the very last minute of stoppage time, Damir Kreilach got on the end of a looping Bicycle kick to slot home past Tim Melia. Real Salt Lake sprinted down the sidelines to mob him at the corner flag and Real Salt Lake seemed to exercise their postseason demons at Children’s Mercy Park.
Playoff schedules will be announced within the next 24 hours.