SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Real Salt Lake
are getting pretty comfortable with the confines of Buck Shaw Stadium.
For the second time in less than three weeks, the MLS defending champions came into the Earthquakes’ home stadium and walked away winners—although this time it required penalty kicks.
RSL nailed all five of their attempts to complete a 4-3 victory over San Jose, which could not overcome a PK miss by its first shooter, Arturo Alvarez.
Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Robbie Findley, Robbie Russell and Andy Williams all scored during the shootout for RSL. Joey Gjertsen, Brandon McDonald and Ramon Sanchez converted for San Jose.
Real Salt Lake will face either FC Dallas or D.C. United next month, with the winner of that match earning a berth in the full U.S. Open Cup field.
Following on the heels of a 3-0 win in their MLS opener, RSL looked as though it would easily overpower the Earthquakes for a second time.
Just 7 minutes in, a botched pass in the Quakes’ defensive third—Chris Leitch was trying to lay the ball back to Bobby Burling—afforded RSL forward Robbie Findley a one-on-one chance with goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was making his debut in San Jose’s goal. Busch charged out but had no chance as Findley easily slotted the ball home.
The Quakes almost pulled even in the 27th minute when Joey Gjertsen collected a rare RSL turnover in the midfield and turned it into a 2-on-2 breakaway. Gjertsen went wide to maneuver clear of RSL defender Nat Borchers and fired a 15-yard shot that eluded goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, only to bounce off the far post. Tony Beltran cleared the rebound for RSL.
The visitors appeared to put the game nearly out of reach in the 60th minute when 21-year-old Nelson Gonzalez scored on a 25-yard free kick for his first goal in an RSL uniform and a 2-0 lead.
But Leitch redeemed himself in the 68th minute, driving forward into the penalty box, cutting decisively inside and driving home a 12-yard shot to the far post with his left foot.
San Jose forced overtime with an 88th-minute strike from Alvarez, who turned on a pass from Ramiro Corrales and beat Reynish to the far post.
Rookie Justin Morrow made it three consecutive San Jose goals when he converted a short through ball from Alvarez in the 103rd minute. But Borchers tied things up three minutes from time when he headed home a cross from Russell.
RSL -- Robbie Findley, 7th minute; Nelson Gonzalez, 60th minute; Nat Borchers (Robbie Russell), 117th minute
SJ -- Chris Leitch, 68th minute; Arturo Alvarez (Ramiro Corrales), 88th minute; Justin Morrow (Arturo Alvarez), 103rd minute
Penalty Kicks (RSL wins 5-3)
RSL --Johnson (goal),Beckerman (goal), Findley (goal), Russell (goal), Williams (goal)
SJ -- Alvarez (wide right), Gjertsen (goal), McDonald (goal), Sanchez (goal)
RSL -- Will Johnson (caution), 8th minute; Kyle Beckerman (caution), 88th minute
SJ -- Steve Beitashour (caution), 51st minute; Bobby Burling (caution), 108th minute
Real Salt Lake: Reynish; Beltran, Borchers, McKenzie, Wingert (Russell 31); Johnson, Warner (Beckerman 69), Alexandre, Gonzalez (Williams 61); Findley, Saborio (Espindola 80)
San Jose: Busch; Leitch, Burling, McDonald, Corrales, Robles (Alvarez 61), Sanchez, Wondolowski (Eduardo 61, Jasseh 74), Morrow; Glen (Beitashour 13), Gjertsen