Real Salt Lake defeated Minnesota United FC in a 3-0 shutout on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win came for RSL as they were far more aggressive and used two first-half goals to help propel themselves to victory. RSL remains in sixth place in the Western Conference standings with 42 points and a record of 11-8-9.
The First Half
RSL wasted no time to begin the first half with forwarding Sergio Córdova weaving his way through defenders inside the box and connecting the ball into the bottom right corner to put RSL up 1-0 in the seventh minute.
After no answer from Minnesota, RSL forward Jefferson Savarino scored another goal on a sliding kick in the 23rd minute to put the team up 2-0 early in the game. Savarino had another opportunity in the 32nd minute with a direct free kick but fired too high.
Córdova also had another opportunity to score in the 37th; however, his header on the center of the goal was saved by Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. RSL left winger Justin Meram took another great shot in the 42nd from outside the box and nearly made the shot, but it missed just to the top right corner.
The Second Half
The second half of the match got off to an uneventful start before Meram had another good look in the 52nd, trying to bullet a score into the bottom left corner, but St. Clair made the save. After Minnesota’s first shot of the game, Meram took a similar shot to the previous one; however, St. Clair once again made the save.
Savarino had a direct shot on goal in the 62nd to score but again St. Clair made another stop. Minnesota proceeded to fire two missed shots within the following seven minutes.
Fortunately for RSL, Anderson Julio scored a goal in the 79th minute after racing towards the goal, tricking out St. Clair on the one-on-one matchup, and finding the right corner of the goal to give RSL a 3-0 edge.
Minnesota had no answer as they could not do anything apart from one final shot that missed too high in the expiring moments of the match.
With the three-goal performance, RSL dominated possession (52.6% to 47.4%), shots (12 to four), shots on goal (seven to zero), blocked shots (three to zero), and corners (three to one). Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair picked four saves to defend against the aggressive RSL attack.
RSL now travels back on the road to Los Angeles, California to take on the Los Angeles Football Club on Sunday, Sep. 4, at Banc of California Stadium at 8:30 p.m. MT. The match can be streamed on ESPN+ or locally on KMYU. The game can also be streamed on KSLSports.com.
Image courtesy of Rob Gray of USA Today Sports.