Real Salt Lake 3, DC United 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
The visitors struck first, with US international Paul Arriola converting on a 9th-minute corner kick. Twelve minutes later, Real Salt Lake answered when Corey Baird got on the end of a Joao Plata pass and slotted home. A minute later, Mora fouled Jefferson Savarino from behind; originally ruled a yellow card, it was changed to straight red upon Video Review. Immediately after play resumed, RSL took advantage of D.C.'s unsettled defense, and Albert Rusnak put the home side up.
RSL expanded their lead with a 53rd-minute Savarino goal, brilliantly assisted by Rusnak, to further build on their lead. D.C. United closed the gap with a Steve Birnbaum header in the 83rd minute. But RSL held on to the final whistle, allowing veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando to notch his 200th career win.
- 9' – DC – Paul Arriola | Watch
- 21' – RSL – Corey Baird | Watch
- 26' – RSL – Albert Rusnak | Watch
- 56' – RSL – Jefferson Savarino | Watch
- 83' – DC – Steve Birnbaum | Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: RSL was also able to stop a two-game losing streak, and move into 5th place in a crowded Western Conference, where just six points separate 3rd place from 9th place. D.C. United can take away moral victories from hanging tough on the road, down a man for most of the match, but they're currently dead last in the league standings. Perhaps a certain big-name player rumored to be heading to D.C. could help their cause?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Sometimes, fouls look worse when you stop to really look at them on video, and unfortunately for Mora and D.C. United, that was the case Saturday night. That RSL was able to score immediately after the sendoff only made things worse, though Ben Olsen putting on Oniel Fisher as a replacement left back right after the goal helped his squad regain its defensive footing.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rusnak's heads-up play to score following the red card, followed by his work to set up Savarino on the game winner, earns him the honors, though Savarino contributed significantly to the win.