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 Utah Royals FC

RSL Extends Streak to 14 Matches Unbeaten After 0-0-Road Draw at CF Montréal

June 15, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Utah Royals FC News Release


Montréal, Quebec, Canada - Real Salt Lake (9-2-7 / 34 points / 1st West) extended its historic unbeaten streak to 14 matches with a 0-0 road draw at Montréal, matching the franchise record established in 2010. RSL has now earned points in the last nine matches away from America First Field, losing only the Feb. 21, 2024 opener away at Miami en route to a 3-1-6 / 15-point road record ahead of Wednesday's trip to Kansas City.

The attack got off to a slow start for RSL, in stark contrast to the Club's five-goal assault two weeks prior against Austin FC. Not only RSL though, as a quiet first 45 emanated for both squads on the ball, the two combining for just three shots on goal.

RSL's first real chance of the match came as Bode Hidalgo blocked a 14th-minute Montréal attempt into the box, the ball falling to Andrés Gómez as RSL quickly jumped forward on the counter. Spotting the run of Anderson Julio into the attacking third, Gómez played a long, curling through-ball that Julio ran onto. Hesitating face-to-face with his lone defender in the box, Julio juked left and then right to create space before unleashing a rocket at the far post that narrowly missed.

Montréal then nearly got on the board in the 17th minute as Zac Macmath made an incredible save to keep the affair scoreless. The counterattacking home side quickly played the ball forward to former RSL Academy player Bryce Duke in the center of the attacking third, when he drew the attention of two RSL defenders before playing it to the left corner of the box for Joaquín Sosa promptly whipped a perfectly weighted ball to the near post for Dominic Yankov, as he lunged forward for the shot from point-blank range. MacMath miraculously read the play and swallowed it up to squelch the opportunity.

RSL threatened again in the 20th minute, as Julio found himself alone in space on the left wing thanks to a clever pass from Alex Katranis, launching himself forward before playing it into the center for RSL Captain Chicho Arango. Marked closely, Arango dove to connect with his left foot for the shot but it was deflected out of play for a corner.

Montréal put together a string of three opportunities with shots from distance, two in the 37th and again in the 39th by Nathan-Dylan Saliba, Duke and Sunusi Ibrahim, respectively, before the two teams hit the locker rooms for the break. RSL entered halftime with a remarkably accurate passing record, checking in with a 91.5% completion percentage on nearly double the amount of passes than the home side, in a physical half of soccer that saw Montréal collect double-digit fouls.

Coming out for the second 45, it would be Montréal that got the first big chance. As Saliba controlled it at his feet in the midfield, he flipped his hips and sent an incisive ball through every level of the RSL defense and onto the feet of a streaking Mason Toye in the box. Toye smoothly dribbled around a charging MacMath and strove to shoot on the open net before a heroic diving challenge from Andrew Brody blocked it out of play.

As Montréal attacked in the 70th minute, a crucial interception by Hidalgo interrupted the play as RSL quickly funneled it out wide to Diego Luna on the left wing for a counterattack. Luna sent a through-ball forward as Julio outpaced his man and dribbled into space at the top of the box. Overlapping with Chicho, he calmly laid it off past the defender and onto the feet of his Columbian captain on the left side of the box for the shot. Opting for a low-driven attempt at the far post, a good save from Jonathan Sirois kept it out of the net. The ball still alive, a failed clearance then sent it to the feet of Luna on the edge of the box as he cut onto his right foot and curled a strike at the far post that connected with the woodwork and went out of play.

RSL then threatened again in the 77th with another dangerous counter. As a Brody clearance found its way to Fidel Barajas in the midfield, he played a through-ball forward for Chicho marked by Montréal's last two defenders. Beating them both to the ball, the RSL Captain flew into the left side of the box for the shot when his attempt was deflected. Falling back to him, the MLS Golden Boot leader held off multiple defenders before laying it back to Barajas for the one-time shot, only kept out by another big save by Sirois.

Montréal nearly scored against the run of play in the 82nd minute with another ball over the top to Toye. This time the ball sent Toye into the RSL box one-on-one with Brody, the Real defender showing his physicality to overcome the size advantage and block the ball away. Despite their big second half seeing Pablo Mastroeni's squad finish clearly ahead in shots, shots on target, possession and passing, the final whistle would blow with the teams deadlocked to secure just one point and RSL's 14th consecutive match unbeaten, dating back to its last loss on March 9 at home.

NOTES FROM RSL vs. MTL:

RSL now unbeaten in 14 consecutive matches, matching the longest single-season streak in Club history (14, 2010). RSL's last defeat was on March 9 vs. Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado, 100 days prior to the team's next match in Kansas City. The 34 points accumulated in 18 matches equals the best start in Club history.

RSL strengthens its claim for one of Major League Soccer's elite defenses, putting up a sixth shutout to keep the total goals conceded on the year to a Western Conference-low 19.

During the current MLS run, RSL has outscored opponents 31-14, scoring first in seven of the 14 matches and hammering home five game-winning goals in the final 15 minutes of matches as well as two extremely late stoppage-time equalizers.

Zac MacMath earns his fourth clean sheet of the 2024 campaign, RSL's sixth of the year. RSL's last road clean sheet came from MacMath's netminding partner Gavin Beavers on April 20th at Chicago, and the last clean sheet for Real overall was more than a month ago - May 15th at home against Seattle.

RSL earns a point on the road for the ninth consecutive match, last losing in the season opener at Inter Miami on Feb. 21.

RSL's point cements an undefeated season in Canada, previously winning in Vancouver, 2-1, back on March 23. The Club's final reg. season matchup with a Canadian side arrives at home against Vancouver on Decision Day on Sat., Oct 19 at America First Field in Sandy.

LINEUPS:

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody; Alexandros Katranis; Bode Hidalgo; Brayan Vera; Emeka Eneli; Braian Ojeda; Andrés Gómez; Diego Luna (Maikel Chang, 83'); Chicho Arango ©; Anderson Julio (Fidel Brajas, 74')

Subs not used: Bryan Oviedo, Nelson Palacio, Philip Quinton, BertinL Jacquesson, Tommy Silva, Gavin Beavers

CF Montréal (4-2-3-1): Jonathan Sirois; Joaquín Sosa; Fernando Álvarez; Joel Waterman ©; Ruan (Lassi Lappalainen, 73'); George Campbell; Victor Wanyama (Gabriele Corbo, 73'); Dominic Yankov (Mason Toye, 61'); Bryce Duke (Kwadwo Opoku, 73'); Nathan-Dylan Saliba; Sunusi Ibrahim (Matías Cóccaro, 61')

Subs not used: Sebastian Breza, Ilias Iliadis, Grayson Doody, Alessandro Birello

Stats Summary: MTL / RSL

Shots: 11 / 19

Shots on Goal: 2 / 6

Saves: 6 / 2

Corner Kicks: 0 / 7

Fouls: 16 / 11

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

MTL: Dominic Yankov (Caution - 22')

MTL: George Campbell (Caution - 49')

MTL: Nathan-Dylan Saliba (Caution - 50')

MTL: Matías Cóccaro (Caution - 63')

RSL: Diego Luna (Caution - 72')

MTL: Joaquín Sosa (Caution - 74)

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