[MLS] So impressive has the Galaxy been during its unbeaten start to the season that only extraordinary forces could undo what is has accomplished.
So it came to be at Rio Tinto Stadium Wednesday night, when an apparently offside goal decided a game delayed by more than half an hour by lightning as Real Salt Lake prevailed, 1-0, in a rematch of MLS Cup 2009 staged just prior to a two-week World Cup break from league play.
Javier Morales scored in the 80th minute on a ball played to him by a teammate, Pablo Campos, that was deflected by Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens. The rookie was facing his own goal as he attempted to make the tackle, which might have fooled the officials into thinking he had tried to pass the ball rather than it actually bouncing off his ankle.
The ball rebounded right to Morales, who was several yards closer to the goal than the nearest Galaxy defenders, who stuck it into the net. Goalie Donovan Ricketts screamed at the referee’s assistant to no avail and referee Edvin Jurisevic let the goal stand.
RSL goalie Nick Rimando preserved the victory in stoppage time with a flying save of a Juninho shot bound for the top corner.
Despite losing, the Galaxy (10-1-2, 32 points) holds a healthy lead over second-place RSL (7-3-2, 23 points) heading into the break.
In the other MLS game played Wednesday, the Rapids snatched a 2-2 tie with Chicago at Toyota Park when Colorado forward Conor Casey headed an equalizer in stoppage time to spoil a great evening for midfielder Marco Pappa, the scorer of both Fire goals.
Colorado (6-3-2) is third in the Western Conference; Chicago (3-3-5) is fourth in the East.