SANDY, Utah — After scoring an early goal, Real Salt Lake looked to have a win in the books over a Bundesliga club. Instead, the night ended on a bit of a sour note when Eintracht Frankfurt scored a stoppage-time goal as the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
Eintracht Frankfurt is competing in a pair of international friendlies, the first of which was against Real Salt Lake on Tuesday. As the reigning German Cup champions, Eintracht Frankfurt gave RSL a chance to shine on a bigger stage. This is the third straight year that Real has hosted a European club.
Though Real didn’t get the win, RSL head coach Mike Petke liked the way his team played.
“The times we lost it a little bit [of ground], they gained the momentum, we gained the momentum back at some point,” Petke said. “There was a lot of individual, very good performances and as a whole, to be honest with you, I think we moved well, we counter attacked well together, we possessed the ball together. I’m pleased with the performance tonight.”
Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas, Petke said the timing of the friendly was poor. Tuesday night’s match was Real’s fourth game in six days and fifth game in 11 days. In the middle of a playoff push, as Sebastian Saucedo put it after that win, Petke didn’t want to enter any of his usual players so they could rest for this upcoming Saturday’s match against Minnesota United FC. As a result of the usual fan favorites not playing and it being a weeknight game, attendance was an announced 5,417.
Though a lot of the players who got the start were called up from the Real Monarchs — RSL’s reserve team — the match did feature some players more involved in the rotation. Luis Silva, who scored against FC Dallas as a substitute, started for Real, and Joao Plata started as well.
Andrew Brody, who was called up from the Real Monarchs, found the back of the net in the 10th minute after a cross from Plata found him in perfect position in the center of the box.
After the referees called for a hydration break at the 30-minute mark, things got chippy between the teams. There was a lot of pushing and shoving, and RSL players weren’t too happy with how Eintracht Frankfurt was approaching the game, but the players didn’t seem to bothered following the game.
Things were rather stagnant for much of the second half, and Corey Baird even came on to the pitch in the 84th minute — the only starter from Saturday’s game to play.
“I didn’t want to have [Baird] come on, but Luis cramped up in both hamstrings and the last thing I need and want is Luis to get injured,” Petke said. “He could play a big role this weekend in some way, shape, form.”
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Nicolai Müller scored the equalizer in the 93rd minute, and though allowing a late goal wasn’t ideal, Taylor Peay thinks the team accomplished what it set out to do.
“It’s an opportunity for guys to get minutes and to show what they can do and I think we did that,” Peay said. “We played well and I think we got out of it what we wanted to. … A little unlucky at the end, the result.”
Real Salt Lake now has a 1-3-1 record against visiting European teams.
Real Salt Lake will face Minnesota on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT, and Eintracht Frankfurt will travel to Pennsylvania to compete against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.