SANDY, Utah (Saturday, April 8, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (2-4-0, 6 points) ended its three-game losing streak with a commanding 3-1 victory over Charlotte FC at America First Field. A trio of second-half goals from Pablo Ruiz, Anderson Julio and Jefferson Savarino in the span of six minutes saw the team secure the come-from-behind win on its home turf.
Looking to snap its three-game winless streak and end its goal drought, Real Salt Lake came out of the gate strong, pressing high and often. The team nearly broke through in the ninth minute when Andrew Brody crossed a ball onto the head of Rubio Rubin who’s header made the Charlotte FC goalkeeper make a point-blank save. In the 20th minute Savarino and Jasper Löffelsend forced the goalkeeper into back-to-back stretching saves with their respective shots, both of which were rocketed from outside the 18-yard-box.
Despite having the better opportunities at goal, Charlotte FC struck first in the 27th minute when Ben Bender found Karol Swiderski who tucked his shot into the top-left corner for the 1-0 lead. Several moments later it appeared as if RSL had found its equalizer when Julio slotted his shot underneath the goalkeeper, but he was adjudged to be in an offside position and the goal was nullified. The Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to secure the equalizer before the first half whistle, heading into the halftime break with a one-goal deficit.
Within moments of the second half kickoff, Real Salt Lake was once again pestering Charlotte’s backline, creating three chances in the opening minute, including a close-range header from Savarino which saw the goalkeeper scrambling to make the save. The 50th minute saw Julio knocking at the door with consecutive chances, but the speedster was unable to slip either of his shots past the ‘keeper. Colombian forward Andrés Gómez nearly found his first for Real Salt Lake in the 54th minute, but his shot smacked off the crossbar and the rebound was corralled by Charlotte’s defense.
Real Salt Lake’s offensive prowess finally paid dividends in the 56th minute, when Ruiz pounced on a poorly cleared ball, slamming his shot from outside the 18-yard-box off the crossbar and down into the back of the net, snapping the team’s 304-minute scoreless drought. Just three minutes later Julio finally found the back of the net, heading in a cross from Gómez to take the team’s first lead of the match.
The team would not be stopped there as Savarino netted one of his own in the 62nd minute, tapping in a well-placed cross from Gomez. From then on Real Salt Lake remained firmly in control, limiting any of Charlotte’s chances, cruising to the 3-1 victory.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake heads to the Lone Star State to face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Club will finish the month of April with back-to-back home matches at America First Field, hosting San Jose Earthquakes on the 22nd and Seattle Sounders on the 29th, both matches beginning at 7:30 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
CLT: Karol Swiderski (Ben Bender, Enzo Copetti) 27th minute: Bender found Swiderski at the top of the 18-yard-box, where the forward maneuvered around his defender before firing off a shot into the top-left corner.
RSL: Pablo Ruiz 56th minute: After a Charlotte defender failed to clear a dangerous opportunity the ball fell at the feet of Ruiz just outside the 18-yard-box. Ruiz saw his shot kiss the underneath of the crossbar before bouncing into the back of the net.
RSL: Anderson Julio (Andrés Gómez, Jefferson Savarino) 59th minute: Savarino found Gómez on the right side of the pitch, setting up a chance for the Colombian winger to hit a long cross directly onto the head of an oncoming Julio who put his body on the line, easily redirecting his shot past the goalkeeper.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Andrés Gómez) 62nd minute: Once again Gómez bulldozed his way down the right side of the field, sending a low pass across the face of goal where an awaiting Savarino tapped it into the net.
- Real Salt Lake were without Zack Farnsworth (ankle), Axel Kei (quad), Erik Holt (achilles), Bryan Oviedo (calf),, Danny Musovski (ankle) and Damir Kreilach (groin)
- U-22 Initiative and Colombian winger Andrés Gómez recorded his first and second assists as a member of Real Salt Lake, contributing to both Anderson Julio and Jefferson Savarino’s second-half goals.
- Real Salt Lake scored three goals in six minutes to overcome a 1-0 deficit, marking the second-fastest time in which the Club has scored three goals. The fastest was a 5-1 win over Colorado Rapids on September 19, 2014 during which Joao Plata, Javier Morales and Chris Schuler scored three goals in five minutes.
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Brayan Vera (Maikel Chang 74’); Jasper Löffelsend (Braian Ojeda 84’), Pablo Ruiz, Andres Gomez (Bode Hidalgo 68’), Jefferson Savarino (Diego Luna 83’); Rubio Rubin, Anderson Julio (Ilijah Paul 68’)
Subs not used: Gavin Beavers, Delentz Pierre, Emeka Eneli, Justin Meram
Charlotte FC (4-3-3): George Marks; Bill Tuiloma, Jaylin Lindsey (Brandon Cambridge 77’), Harrison Afful, Adilson Malanda; Kamil Józwiak (Vinicius Mello 77’), Brandt Bronico, Ben Bender (Derrick Jones 66’); Enzo Copetti, Karol Swiderski (Christopher Hegardt 66’), Kerwin Vargas (Andre Shinyashiki 66’)
Subs not used: Nathan Byrne, Pablo Sisniega, Joseph Mora, Nuno Santos
Stats Summary: RSL/CLT
Shots on goal: 10/6
Corner Kicks: 3/5
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:CLT: Ben Bender (caution) 13’
RSL: Brayan Vera (caution) 23’
CLT: Harrison Afful (caution) 24’
CLT: Kamil Józwiak (caution) 48’
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 57’
RSL: Justen Glad (caution) 70’
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Felisha Mariscal
4th Official: Ismail Elfath
VAR: Younes Marrakchi