Seattle Sounders 3, Real Salt Lake 2 | MLS Match Recap
SEATTLE – A possible postseason preview between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake lived up to the hype on Friday night, as substitute Andy Rose scored a dramatic game winner in the waning seconds of stoppage time to secure a 3-2 victory for the Sounders.
Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins also netted for the Sounders, who had to dig deep to overcome an RSL side playing the final 21 minutes with 10 men.
RSL almost managed to pull out a draw thanks to goals from Javier Morales and Joao Plata, despite playing the last portion of the contest a man down after defender Nat Borchers was issued a red card for denying Obafemi Martins a goalscoring opportunity in the 69th minute.
Seattle started brightly and had a golden opportunity to grab an early lead in the 20th minute after Martins found himself wide open in front of the Salt Lake goal after a perfectly placed header from Chad Marshall. But Martins sent his attempt on goal just high, the shot deflecting off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
The missed opportunity came back to bite the Sounders in the 30th minute after Morales took a feed from Luke Mulholland in the Seattle box and slotted a shot past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei to finish off a 16-pass sequence, giving RSL a 1-0 advantage and stunning the home crowd.
But the Sounders responded in the 38th minute, equalizing off a ballistic 25-yard strike from Neagle that zipped past Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and into the upper left corner.
The Sounders took the lead just five minutes later after Martins converted a breakaway attempt off a feed from Clint Dempsey that deflected just off Rimando’s fingertips, giving the home team a 2-1 halftime advantage.
But the lead turned out to be short-lived. RSL equalized shortly after the second half kickoff, leveling the contest thanks to a 50th minute goal from forward Joao Plata. Plata’s shot was aided by a fortuitous deflection that glanced off Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and past Frei to give RSL the improbable equalizer.
The visitors were dealt a huge blow when referee Kevin Stott showed Borchers the red card after he held back Martins on a breakaway attempt off a feed from Brad Evans. The Sounders were unable to capitalize on the advantage until the last possible second, after Rose freed himself in the RSL box and slotted the dagger past Rimando, setting off a wild celebration at Century Link Field.
With the victory, the Sounders move to 17-7-3 on the season with 54 points in 27 matches and continue to lead the Supporeters' Shiled race. RSL fall to 12-6-10 and remain third in the Western Conference.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Obafemi Martins||Scored Seattle's second goal and was a menace all game long. Had another goal denied by the crossbar.|
|2||Javier Morales||Had a splendid game despite the loss, picking up a goal and an assist in a valiant effort in the RSL midfield|
|3||Clint Dempsey||Unpredictable to the RSL defense, but right at home with his Seattle teammates, Dempsey was at the heart of much of Seattle's positive play on the evening|