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Real Salt Lake 2, Toronto FC 1 | MLS Match Recap

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake almost let a home win slip away on Sunday night, but an unlikely hero came to the rescue to give them all three points against Toronto FC.

After allowing TFC to score an 88th minute equalizer, RSL found a game-winning goal from substitute midfielder Jordan Allen in the dying moments of the match to earn a 2-1 victory over the Canadian visitors. It was the first career goal for the 19-year-old Allen, who was making just the fifth appearance of his MLS career after missing most of last season due to injury.

Things got off to a slow start, but RSL got on the board first after some brilliant vision from Javier Morales created a Luke Mulholland goal in the 38th minute.

Morales received a pass from Olmes Garcia at the left elbow of the 18-yard box, picked his head up and spotted a streaking Mulholland heading towards the back post. Morales lofted a perfect ball and Mulholland did the rest, powering his close-range header past Toronto ‘keeper Joe Bendik.

The home side nearly doubled the lead two minutes later. Forward Sebastian Jaime found himself behind Toronto’s defense and slotted a shot off the far post and in, but the assistant referee raised his flag, ruling Jaime offside and bringing the goal back.

Toronto FC controlled most of the second half, and should’ve had an equalizer in the 73rd minute. Defender Nick Hagglund rose to meet a Sebastian Giovinco corner kick, heading the chance home only to have referee Hilario Grajeda call him for a foul and disallow the goal.

TFC was undeterred by the tough call however, pushing forward frequently and forcing backup RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella – regular starter Nick Rimando is currently with the USMNT – into several big saves. Giovinco provided Attinella with his toughest test, knuckling a 25-yard free kick on frame in the 78th minute that Attinella dove to keep out at the right post.

It looked as if the goalkeeper’s heroics would be enough to seal the win, but RSL couldn’t quite hang on until the final whistle, allowing substitute midfielder Jackson to equalize just three minutes from full time. The Brazilian attacker fought through a couple of challenges, eventually picking the ball up in the center of the box and poking his shot past Attinella to make it 1-1.

Allen would score the winner for RSL less than a minute later.

RSL forward Devon Sandoval started the play, holding the ball up well outside the Toronto 18 and finding Morales on the right wing. Just like he did on RSL's first goal, the Argentine playmaker again curled a perfect cross into the area, finding Allen for a header at the back post to give RSL its first win of the season.

Both teams were missing some key players due to international call-ups, with RSL without Rimando, forward Alvaro Saborio and midfielder Luis Gil and TFC missing DP's Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, among others. 

Each club will return to action next weekend, with Toronto continuing its season-opening, seven-game road trip at Chicago on Saturday and RSL facing San Jose at the brand-new Avaya Stadium on ESPN2 on Sunday. 

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