Real Salt Lake Defeats Colorado Rapids in Wild Finish
SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake (13-10-4, 43 points, 2 West) claimed a 2-0 victory over rival Colorado Rapids on Saturday night to claim its 11th Rocky Mountain Cup in the last 13 seasons.
Stoppage time goals from FW Joao Plata and FW Jefferson Savarino and a shutout performance from GK Nick Rimando helped RSL to the full three points in front of 20,384 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The first half of play saw the Rapids generate the majority of the chances and forced Rimando into a miraculous double-save in the 17th minute to keep the match scoreless. RSL saw few chances fall its way in the first half but wasn't able to test Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard, as Colorado held a 15-4 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes.
Postgame quotes from RSL v COL.
The match came alive in the second half as RSL looked for the go-ahead goal. In the 89th minute the match turned on its head as Rapids forward Kei Kamara saw a straight red card for a tackle on DF Brooks Lennon. RSL then applied the pressure and thought it had found the winner in the 93rd minute when MF Damir Kreilach turned home a shot that was ruled offside. The Utah side didn't have to wait long for the winner as Plata drew a penalty kick in the 96th minute which he dispatched for his first goal of the year. Savarino added the insurance goal just three minutes later, slotting home his seventh goal of the year to down the Rapids 2-0.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will now travel to Providence Park to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, August 31 at 8:30p MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
RSL: Joao Plata (PK), 90'+6: Gaining possession near the edge of the penalty area, Plata struck the ball into the arm of Lalas Abubakar to gain the penalty. Plata stepped and delivered the penalty low to his left that crept under Tim Howard for the game-winning goal.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák), 90'+9: Dribbling three defenders to create space near the endline, Rusnák drew the defenders to him before laying the ball off to Savarino who slotted the ball home for the late insurance goal.
- DF Tony Beltran (knee) and MF Nick Besler (broken right foot) were out of action due to injury.
- DF Aaron Herrera served a one-game suspension for his red card against LAFC last week. FW Corey Baird served a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
- Since returning from the Gold Cup break on June 22, RSL has the best defense in MLS. In those 12 matches, RSL is 7-2-3 with six shutouts and a league-best 0.58 goals against average.
- Real Salt Lake claims the 2019 Rocky Mountain Cup series after topping Colorado 3-2 on May 11 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. With the win on Saturday, RSL retained the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons.
- At halftime, RSL announced that for its match on September 25 against the LA Galaxy, the club will be bringing back the team from its 2009 MLS Cup championship for a 10-year celebration event. Additionally, RSL legend Javier Morales will have his name and number enshrined next to Jason Kreis in the rafters at Rio Tinto Stadium to commemorate his service to the club.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids
Date: August 24, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: 90 degrees with sunny blue skies
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
RSL: Joao Plata (PK) 90'+6
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák) 90'+9
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad, Donny Toia; Everton Luiz, Kyle Beckerman; Jefferson Savarino, Damir Kreilach, Albert Rusnák; Sam Johnson (Joao Plata 68')
Subs not used: David Ochoa, Marcelo Silva, Luke Mulholland, Kelyn Rowe, Sebastian Saucedo, Tate Schmitt
Colorado Rapids (4-3-3): Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Tommy Smith, Sam Vines; Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Sam Nicholson, Diego Rubio (Nicolas Mezquida, 76'), Andre Shinyashiki; Kei Kamara
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Kofi Opare, Danny Wilson, Axel Sjoberg, Jonathan Lewis, Dillon Serna
Stats Summary: RSL/COL
Shots: 19 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 0 / 6
Fouls: 7 / 15
Offside: 3 / 0
RSL - Brooks Lennon (caution) 8'
COL - Diego Rubio (caution) 48'
COL - Keegan Rosenberry (caution) 73'
RSL - Kyle Beckerman (caution) 74'
COL - Kellyn Acosta (caution) 80'
COL - Lalas Abubakar (caution) 87'
COL - Kei Kamara (ejection) 89'
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Jason White
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: David Gantar
AVAR: Craig Lowry
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