Real Salt Lake took on the Atlanta Silverbacks May 28th in a soggy Rio Tinto Stadium and came away winners in a 3-2 contest that took extra time to settle.
Salt Lake saw great 1-2 combinations from Javier Morales and Robbie Findley all night, and were dangerous along the right side. The affair was quite a fight with both sides accumulating three yellow cards and numerous other penalties throughout the night.
Salt Lake opened the match aggressively and was rewarded in the 2nd minute, when a cross from Morales found Findley who took a quick strike. The shot took an initial deflection off a defender and the retry was deflected wide. Morales took a quick corner and found Kyle Beckerman alone in the middle of the box in the third minute. The Captain was able to calmly head it in for a quick 1-0 lead.
Morales was dangerous again for Salt Lake in the 8th minute. Morales took a free kick from the right side of the attacking third which was headed by Sebastian Velasquez and went just wide left of the goal.
Findley made a curling attempt in the 18th minute from the upper right corner of the box, which led to a corner kick. Morales’ service went through the box without finding anyone from either side.
Atlanta had its first attempt on goal in the 23rd minute with a free kick. The resulting free kick was shot wide and high of the goal.
Morales let a golden opportunity get away when Findley found him in the middle of the box. He clinically got past his defender, but the resulting shot missed the left upper corner of the goal.
The rest of the first half was a back and forth effort by both teams, with minimal chances being created by either side.
Velasquez gave Salt Lake its first attempt in the second half in the 49th minute. He fed Morales running along the right side of the box and chipped a cross to the far post. Devon Sandoval got a good attempt on the header, but was blocked with a quick fist from the keeper.
Grabavoy was a second half sub for Velasquez and nearly got on the scoring sheet. Beckerman was able to slide a nifty pass to him and his shot from the top of the box was stonewalled by the keeper.
Atlanta played a much more aggressive second half and was rewarded by a terrific attempt on goal. Jahbari Willis was able to collect a pass in the right side of the box in the 55th minute. His shot went right to Saunders who collected the easy shot.
In the 67th Minute, Salt Lake got caught on a Chris Wingert attempt at an off-side trap. The resulting play was extinguished by Saunders when Atlanta attempted a low cross into the six yard box. Saunders was able to corral it and kill the opportunity.
Morales created an opportunity with a left side run in the 74th minute, which earned a Free kick. The free kick went toward the far post and took a deflection back towards goal. Carlos Salcedo was able to get his head on it, but the attempt went straight to the keeper who was able to hold on to the shot.
In the77th minute, Joao Plata took a throw in and carefully picked his way amongst the defenders. He aimed a shot near post that beat the keeper, but not woodwork, as it deflected out beyond the back line.
In the 81st minute, Morales got fouled 30 yards out from goal. The free kick again went back post and, after a wild scramble in the box with the keeper on the ground, Watson-Siriboe tried a back heel shot that went wide right of the goal.
Disaster struck for Salt Lake in the 87th minute after a quick counter from Atlanta left the home side’s defensive line in shambles. A simple pass from Ruben Luna from the right side found Kellen Gulley alone at the top of the box. He calmly chipped Saunders, who got a finger on it, but wasn’t enough to prevent it from rolling into the back of the net.
The match went to extra time.In the 98th minute Salt lake took the lead. It happened when Sandoval toe punched in a cross from Plata. Plata was able to take a pass from Morales as he found himself behind the Atlanta backline.
Salt Lake put the game away in the 101st minute with a spectacular blast from the top of the box by Khari Stevenson.
Salt Lake will host the Charleston Battery June 12th at Rio Tinto stadium – Charleston beat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in Charleston during tonight’s match.
Category: Game Review