SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (8-4-8, 32 points, West #2), picked up a valuable three points on Thursday, getting goals from RSL MF Luke Mulholland and FW Olmes Garcia to beat Montreal Impact (3-11-5, 14 points, East #10) 3-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL’s Mulholland put the Claret-and-Cobalt up 1-0 just three minutes in to the game. Montreal managed to pull even before halftime through DF Hassoun Camara in the 31st minute. The Impact then went down a man in the 65th minute and couldn’t hold on with RSL substitute Garcia notching a brace with goals in the 70th and 93rd minutes to secure the win.
Real Salt Lake opened up the scoring early in the third minute through Mulholland. The play started with a corner taken by RSL MF Javier Morales who whipped a ball into the box that Montreal flicked on to the far side of the area. RSL DF Chris Schuler was there to head the ball back into the middle of the box where an open Mulholland half-volleyed a shot to the bottom left corner, beating Montreal GK Evan Bush.
Real Salt Lake continued to create chances early on with RSL FW Robbie Findley registering an opportunity to put RSL up by two a minute later. Real Salt Lake found FW Joao Plata with room to work at the top of the area and who then played a ball into the path of Findley just inside the left side of the box. Findley didn’t manage to get much on his shot however, forcing Bush into an easy save.
Montreal had a chance to pull things even in the ninth minute. The Impact played a dangerous ball to the far left post where Montreal FW Marco Di Vaio made a diving effort to put a shot on frame but his attempt went just shy of the far post.
Real Salt Lake had a golden opportunity to double its lead in the 19th minute. The play started with the Claret-and-Cobalt finding an open Plata on the counter. The speedy Ecuadorian carried the ball to the top of the box and placed a perfect pass into the path of Morales on the left side of the area. The Argentine took a touch and sent a low driven shot to the center of goal which didn’t end up troubling Bush, who easily collected the attempt.
Real Salt Lake continued to threaten registering a chance in the 27th minute. Plata was at the center of the action receiving the ball near the touch line on the left side. The small forward displayed some nifty footwork to get around his defender and sent a low shot that ended up straight at the legs of Bush who deflected the shot away.
The game refused to settle down with Montreal continuing to find space to work in and eventually finding an equalizer in the 31st minute. The Impact nicely switched the field of play, finding Montreal MF Calum Mallace open on the right flank just outside the penalty area. Mallace played a simple pass into the top of the box for oncoming DF Hassoun Camara who one-timed a perfectly placed shot to the far post to draw the Impact even.
Real Salt Lake continued to stay on the front foot with Mulholland creating a pair of opportunities in the 39th and 41st minutes. The Englishman began the first chance by chipping in a lovely ball in behind Montreal’s back line for Plata. The Ecuadorian took a bouncing touch to set himself up for a half-volley attempt that struck the side netting of the near post. In the second look, Mulholland neatly chested down a ball to the top of the penalty area for RSL MF Ned Grabavoy who had an open look at goal but the RSL veteran sent his half-volley wide of the far post.
The second half saw Real Salt Lake settle things down, returning to its standard possession based game. Schuler had a golden opportunity in the 50th minute after a ball bounced right to the center back’s feet at the corner of the six yard box, but his close-range effort went straight to Bush. Morales saw the next look in the 61st minute after RSL DF Chris Wingert worked his way down the left side to play in a low cross into the middle of the box. Morales was there at the far post but Bush came up big making a diving save to deny Morales from close-range.
The Impact was dealt a severe blow in the 65th minute after Montreal MF Issey Nakajima-Farran was issued a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on RSL’s Schuler. Able to take advantage of being up a man, Real Salt Lake retook the lead through a beautiful goal scored by substitute Olmes Garcia in the 70th minute. Morales started the play on the right side, sending in a wonderful cross into the box that Garcia fantastically headed to the far post for his first of the year.
Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando made a huge save in the 75th minute to preserve the lead. The Claret-and-Cobalt cleared the ball to the top of the area, where open Montreal MF Andres Romero volleyed an attempt from 20 yards out. The shot ended up being a dangerous one as it forced Rimando to punch the ball away for the save.
Garcia made it two on the evening, giving the Claret-and-Cobalt an insurance goal in the 93rd minute. The play started with Morales deftly chipping a pass with the outside of the foot to Garcia at the top right corner of the box, who then sprung for goal and provided a sublime finish to the far post to end the night.
Real Salt Lake will finish its three-game homestand next Wednesday, when it hosts New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:00 p.m. MT in a nationally televised match on ESPN 2. Tickets to the RSL-New York contest can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 3–1 MTL
- Thursday’s attendance of 20,398 marked Real Salt Lake’s eighth sell-out of the 2014 season. RSL was at capacity for the March 22 season opening 1-1 draw against LA, the April 19 1-0 win against Portland, the May 17 2-1 victory over Colorado, the May 24 scoreless draw with FC Dallas, the 3-1 loss to Portland on June 7, the 2-1 win over New England on July 4 and the 1-1 draw with Vancouver on July 19. Tonight’s sell-out marks the club’s 37th sell-out across all competitions since Rio Tinto Stadium’s 2008 opening.
- Tonight’s match between Real Salt Lake and Montreal was the clubs’ third meeting ever. Real Salt Lake is now 2-1-0 against Montreal all-time and remains undefeated against the Canadian side at home.
- Tonight marked the fourth consecutive match with Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran GK Nick Rimando in the starting lineup. Beckerman and Rimando returned to the club from Brazil on July 3 and went on to help lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution the next day to snap the club’s five game winless streak in MLS action. The Claret-and-Cobalt are now 2-1-1 since the return of the international duo. RSL went 1-3-2 in their absence in addition to being knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup after falling 2-1 at lower-division Atlanta Silverbacks in its opening match of the tournament.
- RSL FW Robbie Findley earned the start tonight, his second of the year – previously starting in RSL’s 1-0 loss at Chivas USA on June 28. Findley has been recovering from knee surgery undergone in the offseason.
- RSL MF Luke Mulholland scored in the third minute to put RSL up by one early on. The goal marked his fifth of the year. RSL DF Chris Schuler was credited with the assist for his first of 2014.
- RSL FW Olmes Garcia notched a brace tonight, scoring the game-winner in the 70th minute and registering an insurance goal in the third minute of stoppage time. The two goals were Garcia’s first of the year – Garcia last scored on July 13, 2013 v. FC Dallas.
- RSL MF Javier Morales notched two assists tonight on both of Garcia’s goals. Morales now has seven assists this year – the team leader in assists in 2014.
- RSL’s concession of the equalizing goal prevented RSL GK Nick Rimando from tying the MLS all-time shutout record. Retired GK Kevin Hartman solely retains the record with 112 clean sheets.
REAL SALT LAKE 3–1 MONTREAL IMPACT
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Montreal Impact 1 0 1
RSL Luke Mulholland (Chris Schuler) – 3’
MTL – Hassoun Camara (Calum Mallace) – 31’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Javier Morales, Joao Plata) – 70’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Javier Morales) – 90’ + 3’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) – 18’
MTL – Issey Nakajima-Farran (Red; Serious Foul) – 65’
MTL – Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare (Yellow; Foul) 82’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland (Cole Grossman, 83’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (John Stertzer, 90’ + 4’); Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia, 59’), Joao Plata
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Luis Gil, Carlos Salcedo, Devon Sandoval
Montreal Impact (4-4-2): Evan Bush; Krzysztof Krol, Heath Pearce, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; Andres Romero, Calum Mallace (Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, 62’), Patrice Bernier, Issey Nakajima-Farran; Marco Di Vaio (Jack McInerney, 77’), Felipe Martins (Justin Mapp, 62’)
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins; Mamadou Danso, Karl Ouimette, Maxim Tissot
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: George Gansner, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Weather: Clear and 92 degrees