Real Salt Lake 2, Seattle Sounders FC 0 | MLS Match Recap
SANDY, Ut. - Real Salt Lake’s playoff hopes were on the line against Seattle Sounders FC, and they played like it, scoring a 2-0 victory over the visiting Sounders thanks to two early-game goals.
The team's first big break came in just the 11th minute of the match, when Seattle defender Roman Torres stretched out his arm and blocked an entry pass right on the 18-yard line. Referee Silviu Petrescu blew his whistle and awarded the penalty kick to the home side.
That's when RSL's Javier Morales stepped to the spot and executed his signature stutter run up to the ball. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei held his ground, but it didn’t matter as Morales blasted the ball home, striking side netting, to give the RSL the early lead.
Just seven minutes later, RSL found the back of the net again.
RSL forward Joao Plata was able to hold the ball away from a handful of Seattle defenders before finally poking it free to Luke Mulholland. Mulholland got his head up and laced a 30-yard strike that crashed hard off the crossbar. Sebastian Jaime pounced on the rebound before anyone else, however, and was able to head the ball into the back of the net, giving RSL the 2-0 lead.
Seattle’s only dangerous attempt came early after RSL’s first strike, when Seattle forward Obafemi Martins got on the end of a cross and directed his shot towards frame. The ball bounced off the crossbar, however, and was cleared away.
It’s been a long time since RSL held a 2-0 half-time lead. In fact, it was the first time this year that they were able do it.
The second half didn’t prove to be much more forgiving for the visitors, either. In fact, Seattle registered just one shot on goal all night, a weak, headed effort that was never troubled RSL goalie Nick Rimando. RSL buzzed around the field and made and pestered Seattle at every turn, boasting a 59 percent possession advantage.
In the end, RSL did what they were supposed to do--they grabbed all three points and kept their faint playoff hopes alive.
RSL travels next to take on fifth-place FC Dallas in a week, while the Sounders will head to Honduras to continue their CONCACAF Champion’s League campaign against CD Olimipa.