SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, August 31, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (11-8-9, 42 points) defeated Minnesota United FC 3-0 in what was a crucial Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs race matchup. Forwards Sergio Cordova, Jefferson Savarino and Anderson Julio each scored a goal on one side of the ball, and the defense recorded its ninth clean sheet of the year on the other.
In a crucial matchup between two sides jockeying for playoff positions, Real Salt Lake started off Wednesday night on a high, earning a corner kick inside the first minute of play. The team’s leading goal scorer Cordova added to his tally in the seventh minute when he chested down a poorly cleared cross, slalomed his way through two defenders and buried his shot to give the Claret-and-Cobalt the early 1-0 lead. The goal ignited an onslaught of teddy bears, raining from the sky, as fans tossed the stuffed animals onto the pitch to be collected and donated to local organizations that benefit kids battling cancer.
RSL doubled its lead in the 23rd minute when Aaron Herrera sent a low cross, with pinpoint accuracy to the feet of a sliding Savarino who redirected it past Dayne St. Clair and into the back of the net. The Claret-and-Cobalt were able to finish out the first half without allowing Minnesota to attempt a single shot, taking the 2-0 lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of the halftime break Minnesota made a rare goalkeeper change, slotting in Tyler Miller for St. Clair. The goalkeeper was quickly tasked with slowing down RSL, saving Justin Meram’s shot just moments into the second half. As the half progressed RSL continued to press Minnesota’s backline but struggled to find the back of the net until the 79th minute when Andrew Brody laced a long outlet pass through several defender to the feet of Julio who outpaced the men around him, dribbling around the ‘keeper, to put away the third goal of the night, solidifying the 3-0 victory for Real Salt Lake.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake finishes its three-game week with a road match against LAFC on Sunday, September 4 at 8:30 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RSL: Sergio Cordova 7th minute: Savarino’s cross was intercepted by a Minnesota defender, but in his quest to clear it out of danger the ball fell to Cordova. The forward chested the ball down to his feet, slalomed between two defenders to hit a right-footed shot into the back of the net.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Aaron Herrera) 23rd minute: Herrera drove down the right side of the pitch, sending a cross just out of reach of two Minnesota defenders, but in the perfect position for Savarino to slide in and redirect the ball over the goal line.
RSL: Anderson Julio (Andrew Brody) 79th minute: Brody pushed a long outlet pass through several Minnesota defenders to the feet of Julio, who sped past his man before dribbling around the goalkeeper to get an open shot on frame.
-Bobby Wood (abductor), Danny Musovski (hamstring), Pablo Ruiz (off field injury) and Damir Kreilach (back) were unavailable due to injury. While new signing Braian Ojeda was unavailable due to his pending visa.
- For the first time since July 24, 2021, RSL netted two goals in the first half, ending a 50 game stretch without doing so.
- Justen Glad and Jasper Löffelsend will miss the team’s next match against LAFC due to yellow card accumulation.
- Anderson Julio’s second-half goal was his ninth off the bench in 32 games played.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Minnesota United FC
Date: August 31, 2022
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 95 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 1 3
Minnesota United 0 0 0
RSL: Sergio Cordova 7’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino 23’
RSL: Anderson Julio (Andrew Brody) 79’
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva; Andrew Brody; Maikel Chang (Rubio Rubin 60’), Scott Caldwell (Nick Besler 80’), Jasper Löffelsend, Justin Meram (Bryan Oviedo 60’); Jefferson Savarino (Diego Luna 80’), Sergio Cordova (Anderson Julio 71’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Johan Kappelhof, Bode Hidalgo, Tate Schmitt
Minnesota United (4-3-3): Dayne St. Clair (Tyler Miller 46’); Alan Benitez (Oniel Fisher 46’), Brent Kallman, Michael Boxall; Jonathan Gonzalez, Will Trapp, DJ Taylor Joseph Rosales (Kervin Arriaga 69’); Abu Danladi (Robin Lod 46’), Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Mender Garcia (Luis Amarilla 60’)
Subs not used: Franco Fragapane, Niko Hansen, Nabi Kibunguchy, Fred Emmings
Stats Summary: RSL / MIN
Shots: 12 / 4
Shots on Goal: 7 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 12
RSL: Jasper Löffelsend (caution) 20’
MIN: Alan Benitez (caution) 32’
RSL: Justen Glad (caution) 39’
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Eduardo Jeff
4th Official: Brad Jensen
VAR: Michael Radchuk