Real Salt Lake 2, Sporting Kansas City 1 | MLS Match Recap
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City added another chapter to their intense rivalry on Sunday night, when RSL used a little bit of luck to pull out a dramatic 2-1 win against SKC in a heated match at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL’s Sebastian Jaime – who recorded his first MLS goal on Sunday – and Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer both scored in a wide open first half, and both sides pushed for a winner in the chippy second stanza. RSL finally found the breakthrough two minutes into stoppage time, with Olmes Garcia firing a shot that caromed off of SKC defender Kevin Ellis, looped over goalkeeper Tim Melia and found the back of the net.
Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales started the play, fighting hard to keep the ball in midfield and finding Garcia on the wing. The Colombian forward took a touch inside and blasted a shot towards goal, with the ball bouncing off of Ellis looping over Melia and giving RSL all three points.
The result snapped RSL’s three-game winless skid and ended Sporting’s seven-game league unbeaten run. As it usually does between these two sides, the game got rather heated, with referee Drew Fischer calling 26 total fouls and showing seven yellow cards.
Salt Lake got things going in the 16th minute, when Jaime scored his first goal since signing a Designated Player deal with RSL last August. Morales lofted a free kick in from the right flank, picking out Jaime at the back post. The much-maligned DP placed his header perfectly, bouncing it off the crossbar and into the back of the net to give RSL the lead.
RSL had a shout for penalties on two different occasions in the first half, once when Jaime chased down a long ball and fell in the box and again when Joao Plata slithered into the box and went to ground. Fischer waved play on both times.
RSL recorded 10 total corners in the first half and missed a few open opportunities, at one point hitting the post through Devon Sandoval. Dwyer made the home side pay for their lackluster finishing in the 30th minute. SKC midfielder Benny Feilhaber slipped a clever ball through to Dwyer in the center of the box, with Dwyer keeping RSL defender Aaron Maund on his hip and coolly slotting home.
The second half started much the same as the first with RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman being shown a yellow just two minutes after the break. RSL were fortunate not to go down a man just two minutes later when Morales avoided seeing his second yellow of the match for a harsh, off-the-ball challenge on Feilhaber.
- Opta Chalkboard: Morales plays leading role for Salt Lake
Both teams pushed for a winner in the second half, with Salt Lake ‘keeper Nick Rimando making a big save on Dwyer in the 64th minute and Melia making a huge stop on Sandoval in stoppage time before Garcia’s winner.
RSL have a quick turnaround following Sunday’s match, flying out to the east coast early this week for a Wednesday match at the New York Red Bulls. SKC will return to action on Saturday, when they’ll host the Colorado Rapids at Sporting Park.