CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Joao Plata scored in the 80th minute, Nick Rimando stopped Robbie Keane's penalty kick in stoppage time and Real Salt Lake opened with a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night in Jeff Cassar's head coaching debut for the Utah club.
"Feels great," said Cassar, a long-time Real Salt Lake assistant coach who took charge after Jason Kreis left to become head coach at New York City FC, which is aiming for a 2015 inaugural season. "What I'm most excited about is the fight that the team had. We came in at halftime and just said, 'Relax, 0-0, exactly where we want to be,' and the energy level, the effort, in the second half was just fantastic."
Plata, open in the middle of the Galaxy box, scored off Kyle Beckerman's pass four minutes after Luke Mulholland's apparent goal was ruled offside.
Keane, the Galaxy captain, had a chance to tie the score in the 93rd minute after Tony Beltran undercut Rob Friend as he leaped for a long ball from Omar Gonzalez. Rimando, who included several spectacular stops among his nine saves, dived to his right to deny Keane at the post.
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