RSL rout KC 4-1, push home unbeaten streak to 18
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake used an all-around effort Saturday night to punish Kansas City 4-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium, pushing their home unbeaten streak to 18 games and keeping the Wizards winless on the road this season.
Both teams started tentatively in the first half, but the home side was the first to settle down. The defending champs began creating chances primarily down the left side, with Argentines Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola working the sideline.
However, it was Andy Williams who provided the assist on the opening goal in the 31st minute. Jean Alexandre, starting for the injured Kyle Beckerman, won a 50-50 ball in the Wizards half of the field. Williams slid the ball to the left to an unmarked Espindola, who took a low shot to the far post and beat Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Just three minutes later, RSL notched their second of the half. Morales chipped a nice ball over the Wizards defense to Espindola, who was making a run down the left side.
The left-footed striker cut the ball to his right foot and attempted to chip Nielsen. The KC 'keeper got his hand on the ball, but it fell to forward Alvaro Saborio at the far post, who knocked the ball in off of his chest.
Kansas City pulled one back just before the break when defender Nat Borchers failed to clear a ball out of the Real Salt Lake half. Davy Arnaud dispossessed him on the play, and drove the ball down the right side of the area, allowing Josh Wolff to make a run in the center of the box. Wolff was able to easily get a shot past Nick Rimando to cut the deficit to one.
In the 82nd minute, Davy Arnaud committed a costly foul outside the area, earning his second yellow of the night and a sending off, prompting an RSL free kick in a dangerous position.
On the restart, Morales put in a low, hard free kick that Nielsen blocked by sticking out his right leg. Russell collected the rebound and had no problem blasting it past the flailing ‘keeper to give RSL the 3-1 lead.
The champs added one more on the night in stoppage time, as Ned Grabavoy took away a ball and raced into the area unimpeded. Nielsen had no chance at the stop, and Grabavoy put it into the right side of the net to cap off the scoring for the night.
RSL -- Fabian Espindola 3 (Andy Williams 3) 31
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio 5 (unassisted) 34
KC -- Josh Wolff 1 (Davy Arnaud 1) 42
RSL -- Robbie Russell 1 (unassisted) 84
RSL -- Ned Grabavoy 1 (unassisted) 92+
KC -- Matt Besler (caution; Tactical Foul) 27
RSL -- Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 29
KC -- Kei Kamara (caution; Tactical Foul) 32
KC -- Jimmy Conrad (caution; Tactical Foul) 73
KC -- Davy Arnaud (caution; Tactical Foul) 82
KC -- Davy Arnaud (ejection; Second Caution) 82
Kansas City Wizards -- Jimmy Nielsen, Jonathan Leathers (Chance Myers 46), Jimmy Conrad, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington, Davy Arnaud, Jack Jewsbury, Josh Wolff (Graham Zusi 77), Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, Ryan Smith. Substitutes Not Used: Birahim Diop, Aaron Hohlbein, Korede Aiyegbusi, Craig Rocastle, Eric Kronberg.
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert (Robbie Russell 46), Andy Williams (Ned Grabavoy 46), Javier Morales, Jean Alexandre, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola (Pablo Campos 88). Substitutes Not Used: Rauwshan McKenzie, Chris Schuler, Collen Warner, Kyle Reynish.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Eric Boria; Paul Scott
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-58-degrees