SANDY, Utah – Fans have come to expect the unexpected when Real Salt Lake meets the Philadelphia Union. For the fourth straight meeting between the two clubs, the match ended in a draw, this time 3-3 at Rio Tinto Stadium, but how that result is reached was as eventful as ever.
The teams traded leads throughout the match and RSL FW Alvaro Saborio scored the match-deciding goal in the 86th minute as Real Salt Lake (0-0-2, 2 points) remained unbeaten in its first two matches of the 2015 season.
A back-and-forth match started with both teams pressing for an early advantage.
In the 29th minute, RSL’s attacking efforts resulted in the first goal of the season. Saborio was fouled just on the edge of the box while jumping for a ball with his back to goal, setting up a free kick from just over 18 yards out. MF Javier Morales stood over the ball and blistered the free kick toward the right post, just glancing off the head of a defender on its way past Union GK Rais Mbolhi and into the net for his first goal of the year.
Philadelphia answered with two goals to take a 2-1 lead before halftime.
The Union evened the score in the 34th minute on a goal from FW Fernando Aristeguieta, as he took advantage of a deflection to level the score. MF Cristian Maidana crossed the ball in from the right side and it was deflected by Real Salt Lake MF Kyle Beckerman, then tipped by GK Nick Rimando. Aristeguieta was there to clean up the rebound, heading it in for his first goal of the season.
He added another off a deflection just four minutes later. In the 38th minute, Maidana took a quick throw and DF Chris Schuler tipped it toward goal, leaving Aristeguieta to pounce, putting it past Rimando for his second goal of the match and a 2-1 Philadelphia advantage.
Real Salt Lake bounced back with an equalizer in the 54th minute again off a Morales free kick. This time, he played a ball into the box from the right side and in a scrum at the far post, DF Jamison Olave headed in for his first goal of the season, evening the tally at 2-2.
However, on the other end of the field an own goal off the boot of Olave saw Philadelphia reclaim the lead in the 58th minute. On a ball in from the left side, Olave slid to make a clearance, but poked the ball into the open net and Philadelphia jumped back ahead 3-2.
Salt Lake had a chance at an equalizer came in the 84th minute when Jordan Allen snapped a header off a ball from the right side, but Mbolhi made the save.
One minute later, though, MF Luke Mulholland earned a penalty when he was taken down in the box by Maurice Edu. Saborio converted the PK for his first goal of the season in the 86th minute, tying the score back up at 3-3.
The draw is the second straight for both clubs as Philadelphia (0-0-2, 2 points) played a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids in its season opener.
RSL has a bye week next week before hosting Toronto FC in the club’s first ever Sunday regular season home match on March 29. The nationally-televised match on Fox Sports 1 will kick off at 5 p.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL-PHI
- Javier Morales’ goal direct from the free kick was the first goal RSL had scored on a direct free kick since 2012.
- The sellout at Rio Tinto Stadium was the 17th consecutive sellout for RSL.
- Real Salt Lake remains unbeaten against the Union at 2-0-5.
- RSL is also unbeaten in home openers since opening Rio Tinto Stadium in 2008 at 3-0-4 and 4-0-7 in home openers overall.
- RSL also remains unbeaten in its last 14 matches against Eastern Conference foes.
- Alvaro Saborio is now 15-17 on PK attempts and RSL is 41-6-13 in all competitions when he scores.
REAL SALT LAKE 3-3 PHILADELPHIA
SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2015
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Philadelphia Union 2 1 3
RSL – Javier Morales – 29’
PHI – Fernando Aristeguieta – 34’
PHI – Fernando Aristeguieta – 38’
RSL – Jamison Olave (Javier Morales) – 54’
PHI – Own Goal (Jamison Olave) – 58’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (PK) – 86’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Yellow; Foul) – 4
PHI – Steven Vitoria (Yellow; Foul) – 23’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Yellow; Dissent) – 50’
PHI – Maurice Edu (Yellow; Foul) – 52’
PHI – Ethan White (Yellow; Foul) – 62’
RSL – Luke Mulholland (Yellow; Foul) – 74’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips (Abdoulie Mansally, 82’); Kyle Beckerman (C), Luis Gil (Luke Mulholland, 70’), Javier Morales; Sebastian Jaime (Jordan Allen, 65’), Alvaro Saborio, Olmes Garcia.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Devon Sandoval, Sebastian Saucedo, Elias Vasquez.
Philadelphia Union (4-2-3-1): Rais Mbolhi; Sheanon Williams, Steven Vitoria, Ethan White, Raymon Gaddis; Vincent Noguiera, Maurice Edu (C); Andrew Wenger (Zach Pfeffer, 79’), Cristian Maidana (Michael Lahoud, 79’), Sebastien Le Toux; Fernando Aristeguieta (Conor Casey, 87’).
Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Fred da Silva, Richard Marquez.
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 64