SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake MF Javier Morales scored a 97th minute penalty kick goal to give 10-man RSL a wild 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night.
Morales put his spot kick off of the right post and in with virtually the final kick of the match to extend RSL’s unbeaten streak to 10 games across all competitions.
The Claret-and-Cobalt went down a man when trailing 1-0 in the 59th minute, when Referee Ismail Elfath controversially showed RSL DF Lovel Palmer a straight red card for a tackle on Philadelphia MF Michael Farfan. RSL substitute MF Luis Gil equalized for the Utah side in the 75th, only for Union FW Conor Casey to give Philadelphia its second lead of the night one minute later.
Philadelphia got off to a fast start, taking the lead through MF Sebastien Le Toux in the 13th minute. Casey got free on the right wing, dribbling from midfield all the way to the end line in the right side of the area before cutting the ball back and rolling a cross to the middle that an open Le Toux tapped home from inside the six.
RSL nearly equalized in the19th minute through FW Robbie Findley. Palmer started the play, making a tackle deep in RSL’s third on the right side and finding FW Joao Plata up the line to launch a counter. Plata played a give-and-go with Morales, eventually getting to the end line and curling a cross to Findley at the left post. The speedy striker did well to beat his man to the ball, but couldn’t quite keep his header on frame, sending the eight-yard effort inches wide of the right post.
The Claret-and-Cobalt went down to 10 men when Palmer was ejected in the 59th minute. The versatile Jamaican went after a loose ball in the middle of Philadelphia’s third, sliding into a challenge and catching the ball before colliding with Farfan’s leg. Elfath deemed the challenge dangerous and showed Palmer a controversial straight red.
Despite losing a man, RSL continued to press Philadelphia after Palmer’s ejection and nearly equalized in the 73rd minute. Substitute MF Sebastian Velasquez made a mazy run down the left wing, playing a give-and-go with Morales before firing a well-struck 15-yarder that Union GK Zac MacMath punched away.
Gil equalized for the Claret-and-Cobalt in the 75th minute. Morales curled a corner kick in from the left side and Gil – who was making his first appearance for RSL after returning to Salt Lake City late last Friday from the U.S.’s run at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup – got on the end of it, powerfully heading inside the far post from 10 yards out.
Unfortunately for RSL, Philadelphia re-took the lead seconds later, pulling ahead 2-1 through Casey in the 76th. Substitute FW Antoine Hoppenot beat a RSL player to a ball on the right edge of the area, catching the Claret-and-Cobalt on the break and squaring to Casey in the box. The veteran striker took it from there, calmly slotting home past onrushing RSL GK Josh Saunders to give the Union the lead.
Saunders came up huge for RSL 15 minutes later, keeping the Utah side in the game with a fantastic save on Le Toux in second-half stoppage time. RSL had pushed all of its numbers forward, getting caught out when Philadelphia played a headed clearance directly to Le Toux in the middle of the pitch. Le Toux raced forward for a 1-v-1 with Saunders, who came up huge, coming off his line to cut off the Frenchman’s angle and getting low to block the effort from 15 yards out.
RSL made Saunders’ big save count in the 97th minute, when Morales finished his penalty kick to give the Claret-and-Cobalt a point. Philadelphia DF Raymon Gaddis was whistled for the penalty, raising his left arm and handling a last ditch long ball in the top of the box to give RSL the spot kick. Morales added a little bit more drama to the affair, hitting the PK off the right post and caroming it in to make it 2-2.
Real Salt Lake will not play again until Saturday, July 13, when it will travel to Texas to take on Western Conference foe FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, July 20, when it will host Sporting Kansas City in a match followed by postgame fireworks.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2-2 PHI
- Tonight's draw snapped RSL's 7-game win streak across all competitions (4-0-0 MLS, 3-0-0 US Open Cup), but extended the team's unbeaten run to 10 games (8-0-2) since losing in stoppage time at Montreal on May 11 ... Since dropping a home game at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 27 to Los Angeles, RSL is 10-1-1 in its last 12 games across all competitions ...
- When Philadelphia's Sebastien LeToux scored in the game's 13th minute, that snapped a streak of 385 minutes across all competitions that saw RSL shut out opponents ... RSL GK Josh Saunders earned his first point in MLS play as a member of the Claret-and-Cobalt, the two-time MLS Cup winner notching a key save on a LeToux breakaway to keep the game within reach in the 89' ... Saunders lost his previous MLS start for RSL on March 23 at Dallas, but earned his first RSL win on June 26 in Open Cup action against Carolina, a 3-0 victory ...
- RSL is now 1-4-2 in MLS play this season when conceding the first goal, earning the club's only comeback win on May 8 at NE in a 2-1 victory ... The other draw prior to tonight came back on March 16 in the club's home opener against Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado, as FW Alvaro Saborio slotted home the equalizer in the 80th minute ...
- The draw delays RSL earning its inevitable 100th all-time regular-season win, with the club now 99-103-69 in the nine seasons from 2005-present ... RSL next plays at Dallas - a city in which it has never won - on Saturday, July 13 ...
- Saturday, July 13 is also the date of the next event at Rio Tinto Stadium, which hosts a 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader that features the United States Men's National Team against Cuba, as well as Costa Rica against Belize ... Four RSL players are expected to feature that day, as GK Nick Rimando, Captain Kyle Beckerman and back Tony Beltran each will represent the USA, while FW Alvaro Saborio is captaining his Costa Rican National Team ...
- With tonight's draw, RSL is now 5-0-6 in home Independence / Pioneer Day fireworks games since 2008, Jason Kreis' first full season as RSL Head Coach ... RSL hosts Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, July 20, at Rio Tinto Stadium, 7:30p MT kickoff ..
- RSL maestro Javier Morales wore the Captain's armband tonight, in lieu of absent USMNT star Kyle Beckerman ... Morales assisted on Luis Gil's 75' goal tonight - his team-leading 6th assist of the season - before converting his stoppage-time penalty kick for his 4th goal of 2013, matching the team-high total for goal so far with Alvaro Saborio, Robbie Findley and Olmes Garcia ...
- Morales' 95+' PK was RSL's 11th goal in the final 15 minutes of a game, a period during which RSL has outscored opponents 11-6 ... All-time, RSL is now 30-for-35 from the spot in MLS play, Morales 2-for-3 ...
- RSL DF Lovel Palmer's 2nd half red card was RSL's fourth of the season through 19 games, although one - DF Carlos Salcedo's stoppage-time ejection at NE on May - was rescinded ...
- By improving to 10-5-4 with 34 points through 19 games, RSL has attained its 2nd-best start of all-time, one point shy of its 2010 mark (10-4-5, 35 points) ...
REAL SALT LAKE 2–2 PHILADELPHIA UNION
WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
Philadelphia Union 1 1 2
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (Conor Casey) – 13’
RSL – Luis Gil (Javier Morales) – 75’
PHI – Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot) – 76’
RSL – Javier Morales (Penalty Kick) – 97’
PHI – Brian Carroll (Yellow; Foul) – 33’
RSL – Lovel Palmer (Red; Foul) – 59’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) - 90
PHI – Aaron Wheeler (Yellow; Foul) – 90+
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Josh Saunders; Lovel Palmer, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Wingert; Yordany Alvarez (Luis Gil, 58’); Ned Grabavoy, Khari Stephenson (Sebastian Velasquez, 72’); Javier Morales (C); Joao Plata, Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia, 56’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK), Abdoulie Mansally, Aaron Maund, Devon Sandoval
Philadelphia Union (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis; Sebastien Le Toux, Brian Carroll (C), Michael Farfan (Antoine Hoppenot, 61’), Danny Cruz (Matt Kassel, 65’); Leo Fernandes (Aaron Wheeler, 86’), Conor Casey
Substitutes not used: Conor Konopka (GK), Chris Albright, Don Anding, Roger Torres
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Kevin Terry, Jr.
Weather: Clear and 97 degrees