Real Salt Lake Topples MLS Cup Champion Atlanta United 2-1
SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake (6-6-1, 19 points) toppled the defending MLS Cup Champions Atlanta United for its third consecutive win courtesy of a stoppage-time stunner from FW Jefferson Savarino.
RSL saw a first-half strike from FW Sebastian Saucedo, scoring in his second consecutive match, coupled with a strong defensive efforthighlighted by two saves by GK Nick Rimando to pick up its sixth win of the 2019 season.
Throughout the first half, RSL played the aggressor and nearly found the opening goal when Savarino's deflected shot in the 20th minute nearly found the net but glanced off the post. RSL found its breakthrough in the 36th minute when Saucedo fired a curling effort from distance that found the bottom corner of Brad Guzan's net for his second goal in as many weeks.
After several second-half opportunities Atlanta United broke through RSL's defense for the equalizer with a sliding effort from Josef Martinez to find the back of the net for the Five Stripes, leveling the score in the 78th minute. With the clock dwindling down, RSL once again played the aggressor, pestering United's defense and goalkeeper with shot after shot. Finally, in the closing seconds of the game Savarino found the ball from the feet of MF Everton Luiz. Savarino then raced toe to toe with several Atlanta defenders before pulling back and launching the ball from deep outside the 18-yard-box into the upper left corner of goal for the win.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to the road on Wednesday, May 29 when it faces the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. Kickoff in Montreal is set for 5:30p MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Sebastian Saucedo (Albert Rusnák), 36th minute: A brilliant switch of the field from Rusnák found the feet of Saucedo who was wide-open on the far side. Saucedo took the ball down beautifully and cut centrally before curling a shot that found the bottom corner from 20 yards.
ATL: Josef Martinez (Franco Escobar, Gonzalo Martinez) 78th minute: Second-half substitute Gonzalo Martinez connected with Franco Escobar in the final third. Escobar then dribbled the ball towards the end line, making a quick turn as he sent the ball into the box where Josef Martinez slid feet-first, directing the ball into the back of the net for the equalizer.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Everton Luiz) 90+4th minute: In the final moments of the match Everton Luiz sent a pass to Jefferson Savarino who outran his opponent, launching off a wonder-strike from deep outside the 18-yard-box into the upper left corner of the goal to give RSL the lead and the win at the death.
- DF Tony Beltran (knee) and MF Kyle Beckerman (hamstring tightness) were out of action due to injury.
- With every save Nick Rimando made in the match, MLS Works committed $500 which will be matched by the RSL Foundation as part of the "Every Save Makes a Difference" campaign. In total, Rimando and RSL raised $2,000 from the match against Atlanta, which will be directed to the Sugarhouse Boys & Girls Club.
- Sebastian Saucedo scored his second goal in as many matches in almost exact fashion as against Toronto, curling an effort from distance that found the far post.
- Jefferson Savarino netted his third goal of the season, his second in as many matches.
- RSL secured its second-consecutive win at Rio Tinto Stadium, a first this season.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Atlanta United FC
Date: May 24, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Rainy and 53 degrees
1 2 F
Real Salt Lake: 1 1 2
Atlanta United 0 1 1
RSL: Sebastian Saucedo (Albert Rusnák) 36'
ATL: Josef Martinez (Franco Escobar, Gonzalo Martinez ) 78'
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Everton Luiz) 90+4'
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Nedum Onuoha, Donny Toia; Nick Besler, Damir Kreilach (Everton Luiz 73'); Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Sebastian Saucedo (Brooks Lennon 90'); Corey Baird (Sam Johnson 81')
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Marcelo Silva, Justin Portillo, Joao Plata,
Atlanta United FC: (4-5-1): Brad Guzan; Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Miles Robinson, Brek Shea (Franco Escobar 58'); Darlington Nagbe, Julian Gressel, Jeff Larentowicz (Gonzalo Martinez 58'), Eric Remedi, Dio Pereira (Justin Meram 78'); Josef Martinez
Subs not used: Alec Kann, Florentin Pogba, Romario Williams, Andrew Carelton
Stats Summary: RSL / ATL
Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 1 / 3
ATL: Michael Parkhurst (caution) 38'
RSL: Aaron Herrera (caution) 67'
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Jose Da Silva, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Farhad Dadkho
VAR: Guido Gonzalez Jr
AVAR: TJ Zablocki
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