Real Salt Lake got their first win in a month after a three-goal second half to overpower Sporting Kanas City 3-0 on Sunday, July 17, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The win propels RSL back to third place in the Western Conference standings with 33 points and a record of 9-6-6 on the season. RSL’s dominance at home continues as they remain unbeaten with a record of 7-0-3.
The First Half
RSL forward Jefferson Savarino got things started. Savarino took a wide left shot in the sixth minute, with three RSL players firing a few minutes later. Kansas City left winger Marinos Tzionis answered by almost finding the bottom right corner, but RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath made the save.
RSL answered with three direct shots on goal over the following eleven minutes. However, Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp was able to save all three attempts, keeping the half scoreless.
After another missed attempt by Kansas City, Savarino was able to find another great opportunity for RSL in the 41st. However, Pulskamp was able to make the save inside the center of the goal.
The Second Half
RSL came into the second half furiously, with Sergio Córdova heading the ball into the bottom right corner of the post, putting RSL up 1-0 in the 50th. RSL kept their foot on the pedal, taking two more shots in the 56th minute, but missed both.
Things got worse for Kansas City after forward Roger Espinoza picked up a red card in the 62nd minute, putting Kansas City a man down. RSL immediately capitalized on the opportunity with midfielder Pablo Ruiz pounding in another goal in the bottom right corner giving RSL a 2-0 lead in the 64th.
RSL scored once again in the 71st minute. Savarino putting a header into the top right corner from close range, giving RSL a dominant 3-0 lead. The closest Kansas City would get to responding is a shot by Dániel Sallói in the 80th, but it went just barely to the right. RSL would hold on to win the game and complete the shutout.
RSL not only dominated in scoring, but also in categories such as possession time (56.3% to 43.7%), shots (19 to six), shots on goal (10 to one), and blocked shots (four to two). Despite giving up three goals, Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp racked up an impressive seven-save performance.
RSL remains home to take on FC Dallas on Saturday, July 23, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The game will begin at 8 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Image courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune.