for this game

Morales' goal keeps Real Salt Lake out of last place

Sep 20, 2007 - 4:48 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Javier Morales had just entered the game for Real Salt Lake. Moments later, he saved the team from a spot in the Western Conference basement.

Just two minutes after subbing in for starting defender Jean-Martial Kipre, Morales scored on a free kick, drilling a shot in the top right corner to salvage a 2-2 draw with the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday in a battle of the West's two worst teams.

"I came in with a lot of desire to do something," Morales said. "I just went in and knew we didn't have a whole lot of time. I just thought, 'Go in and just do what I can to get us a result.' It was nice to be able to get that tie for us. I knew that was the least we deserved after what happened the entire game."

The goal came on the heels of a whirlwind attack by the Galaxy, who managed to score a pair of goals in a matter of six minutes to take a sudden lead.

"I think we had the best, clearest opportunities to score," Morales said. "They got to us on one counterattack to get a penalty. And then we were just going forward looking for the win, and they got a second (goal)."

After falling behind, 1-0, on Carey Talley's penalty kick early in the second half, the Galaxy rebounded on Landon Donovan's penalty kick in the 79th minute.

Just six minutes later, Donovan came up big again, setting up teammate Gavin Glinton in front of Salt Lake's net. Glinton's sliding kick slipped just past goalkeeper Nick Rimando as the Galaxy pulled ahead in front of a stunned home crowd of 24,633.

"Obviously, we got the counter and someone sprung it out wide, and I just kept running down the sideline and I didn't think I was going to catch it, to be honest," Glinton said. "But (Donovan) slowed it down and I found the hole."

But like Salt Lake's early advantage, Los Angeles' lead would be short-lived. Morales' goal was his first of the season and preserved one more point for Salt Lake, keeping the club two points ahead of the last-place Galaxy.

"We're not happy with (a tie). We're not pleased with it, we're not content with it," Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said. "We feel that our team did enough over 70-some minutes, where we didn't feel like LA was getting much of anything against us."

Salt Lake, which outshot Los Angeles, 19-10, suffered through a few more near misses over the game's final minutes. Chris Brown nearly scored on a header and Kyle Brown drilled a shot from point-blank range that sailed right into the arms of goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

In stoppage time, Morales got in the middle of a scramble right in front of Los Angeles' net - the rookie defender actually collided with Cannon - and nearly scored his second goal, but his shot was knocked away by a defender.

"Of course it's always disappointing when you have five, six, seven clear chances," said Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan, who was tripped up by Cannon in the game's 56th minute to set up Talley's penalty-kick attempt. "It's definitely disappointing, but there are a lot of positives to take out of this game."