Javier Morales brought the Pioneer Day fireworks early at Rio Tinto Stadium with a highlight-reel goal in the 34th minute to jump-start Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. Assisted by Sebastian Jaime off a long goal kick from Jeff Attinella, the Maestro masterfully weaved his way through the backside Kansas City defenders and punched the ball in from the top of the box into the net.
Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes elected to substitute star midfielder Benny Felhaber coming out of halftime, which almost immediately paid off. Feilhaber answered Morales’ goal with a deep strike of his own past Jeff Attinella to even the match at 1-1 in the 50th minute.
On a 72nd-minute offensive push, Olmes Garcia found himself with a one-on-one matchup with KC keeper Tim Melia. Melia opted to trip up the sprinting Garcia, giving RSL a penalty kick, which Joao Plata sailed in to put RSL up 2-1. Melia was issued a yellow card on the play.
Feilhaber was also issued a yellow card for a foul on Javier Morales in the 90th minute.
RSL held on through 4 minutes of stoppage time to put Sporting KC away once again at home, 2-1.
RSL will hit the road in various types of competition until their next home match against the Portland Timbers on August 15th.
Jeff Cassar Postgame Press Conference:
Highlights of tonight’s match:
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