Damir Kreilach scored a hat trick and Albert Rusnak added two more goals to help Real Salt Lake cruise to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night.
The victory moved Salt Lake (13-10-5, 44 points) six points ahead of the Galaxy in the standings. RSL has won three in row, outscoring their opponents 14-3 in that stretch.
Los Angeles (10-10-8, 38 points) lost a lead for the fifth time in the last six matches and extended the club’s winless streak to six games.
Los Angeles got on the board with Jonathan dos Santos’ goal 37 seconds into the match. Ashley Cole crossed to dos Santos at the outside top corner of the 6-yard box. From there, dos Santos expertly threaded the ball past Nick Rimando’s fingertips and inside the right post for a 1-0 lead.
Rusnak leveled the match in the 14th minute. Joao Plata fed the ball ahead to him and Rusnak cleared three defenders before firing off the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and blasting it home inside the right post.
RSL took their first lead of the match on Kreilach’s goal in the third minute of first-half stoppage time. Kreilach popped the ball up in the air with his foot to get it past David Bingham when he came out to challenge. Then the midfielder headed the ball forward, as it came down, into the empty net.
Salt Lake tacked on another goal just after halftime, going up 3-1 on an own goal in the 48th minute. Michael Ciani tried to stop a shot by Jefferson Savarino and ended up redirecting the ball into his own net.
Kreilach picked up his second goal to extend the lead to 4-1 in the 61st minute. Bingham saved Rusnak’s initial shot and he collected the ball on the rebound. Then Rusnak fed Kreilach and the midfielder slid forward into the 6-yard box and tapped the ball home.
Romain Alessandrini got one back for the Galaxy two minutes later. It didn’t make a major difference in the long run.
Rusnak struck for a second time in the 68th minute. Then Kreilach completed the hat trick in the 71st minute. Savarino assisted on both goals.
—Field Level Media