Real Salt Lake 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 1 | MLS Match Recap
SANDY, Utah -- The MLS-leading Vancouver Whitecaps grabbed another three points on the road thanks to a Darren Mattocks header in the 80th minute, earning a 1-0 victory over nine-man Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
The Whitecaps were ruggedly physical from the opening whistle and were shown their first yellow card in just the fifth minute of play, when Russell Teibert went in for a two-footed challenge on RSL forward Olmes Garcia.
The only shot on frame in the first half came from RSL forward Jordan Allen, who took a volley out of the air and directed a low shot towards the corner of the goal. Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted seemed to see it late, but scampered to his right and got a hand down quickly to parry the ball away from the net.
Playing with a defensive-minded midfield, Vancouver looked to absorb pressure and counterattack, playing the ball through into space for Mattocks on multiple occasions. But RSL defender Jamison Olave bottled him up time after time, preventing any real danger from the visitors.
Vancouver had the better of play to start the second half with two big chances that went begging.
In the 55th minute, the Whitecaps carved out a 2-v-2 situation but midfielder Nicolas Mezquida played his pass a little too early and didn't take full advantage of the space, allowing RSL to recover and clear the danger.
And Vancouver took full advantage as Mattocks finally made his mark on the match just four minutes later.
Teibert ran hard to latch on to a deflected pass and sent a beautiful cross into the box where Mattocks was waiting. The Jamaican international rose over the RSL defense and flicked his header past goalkeeper Nick Rimando and into the back of the net.
RSL boss Jeff Cassar threw everything at the 'Caps in an effort to rally, subbing off Beltran and midfielder Luke Mulholland for John Stertzer and Devon Sandoval and switching to a three-man back line.
The changes nearly paid off as the home side generated one last chance to salvage a point in the 88th minute, but forward Alvaro Saborio’s sizzling free kick was saved by Ousted.
Olave was shown his second yellow in the 89th minute and the six minutes of stoppage time did no favors for the home side, as Vancouver closed out the match with a victory, their third win away from BC Place this season.
The Whitecaps host D.C. United next Saturday (10:30 pm ET, TSN1), while Real Salt Lake visit New England that same evening (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).