RSL advances in the U.S. Open Cup with win over Sounders FC 2

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, June 16, 2015) – Real Salt Lake needed a second-half comeback and a bizarre game-winner, but the Claret-and-Cobalt emerged a 2-1 victor over Seattle Sounders FC 2 in its fourth round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

FW Joao Plata had a goal and an assist while MF Javier Morales added the game-winning tally in the 71st minute on an indirect free kick in the box after the Sounders were called for a backpass to the goalkeeper.

RSL will learn its fifth-round opponent on Thursday when U.S. Soccer announces the remaining draw for the 102nd edition of the U.S. Open Cup.  But the victory didn’t come without some drama as Seattle got on the board first and went into halftime with a 1-0 advantage.

GK Jeff Attinella was forced into an early save in the eighth minute when Pablo Rossi fired a free kick from 24 yards out on the left side of the box.  He curled his shot toward the far post, but Attinella was there to punch it clear.

In the 24th minute, RSL had a good opportunity but came up empty on a ball through the box.  After some good interplay through the middle and up the left side, DF Demar Phillips got into the box and crossed for FW Olmes Garcia as he neared the endline.  Garcia slid for the ball at the edge of the six-yard box, but he was well-defended by Aaron Long and the ball skipped through for a goal kick.

RSL held the possession edge through the first half, but couldn’t capitalize and it proved costly.

Just before the halftime whistle, Sounders FC 2 snatched the lead when RSL fell asleep on a throw-in in its own end.  The ball snapped in from the right side and Sam Garza took a touch past his marker and shot a low-angle shot to beat Attinella to put Salt Lake behind 1-0.

Salt Lake had a chance to equalize in the 57th minute when Phillips whipped a cross in for FW Devon Sandoval, who snapped a header on frame, but Saif Kerawla swatted it clear from the top corner for a tremendous save and RSL remained behind 1-0.

That was, until Plata equalized with his first goal since returning from a fractured fifth metatarsal in his foot.  In the 63rd minute, Garcia beat his man to the ball up the right side, then carried it laterally into the box before laying it off to Plata for a first-time shot that snapped the net to equalize at 1-1.

RSL then snared the lead in the 71st minute on an indirect free kick in the box after a Kerawla picked up a backpass from his own defender.  The referee placed the ball at the edge of the six-yard box where Sandoval, Plata and Morales lined up over it.  With S2’s players lined up on the goal line ready to defend, Plata rolled it to the right for Morales and he cracked a shot inside the far post to take control with a 2-1 lead.

Plata nearly made it 3-1 just a few minutes later when Morales led him into space up the left side and his shot went through the legs of Kerawla, but the S2 goalkeeper got just enough of a touch to deflect the ball wide for a corner kick.

MF Luis Gil also had a shot parried by Kerawla that nearly broke the game open, but Salt Lakeheld on for the victory, advancing to the fifth round, to be played either June 30 or July 1.

RSL will return to MLS play and face Sporting Kansas City in a Father’s Day tilt on Sunday at Rio Tinto Stadium.  The nationally televised match on Fox Sports 1 will kick off at 8 p.m. MT.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSLvS2
-       Tuesday marked the Real Salt Lake debut for DF Boyd Okwuonu.  RSL’s second round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft has six appearances for Real Monarchs SLC (USL) and has played five matches for the U.S. U-23 National Team thus far this year.
-       DF Phanuel Kavita also made his RSL debut, coming on as a first-half sub for DF Justen Glad, who left the match in the 39th minute with an injury.  Kavita signed as a Homegrown player in January.
-       FW Devon Sandoval wore the captain’s armband for RSL.  He was also celebrating his 24th birthday Tuesday.

TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015

Goals by Period                    1          2          F
Real Salt Lake                        0          2          2
Seattle Sounders FC 2           1          0          1

Scoring Summary:
S2: Sam Garza (Giuliano Frano) 49+’
RSL: Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia) 63’
RSL: Javier Morales (Joao Plata) 71’

Misconduct Summary:
RSL: John Stertzer (Yellow, Foul) 53’
S2: Victor Mansaray (Yellow, Dissent) 70’
S2: Amadou Sanyang (Yellow, Foul) 89’
S2: Amadou Sanyang (Yellow, Dissent) 93+’
S2: Amadou Sanyang (Red, Second yellow) 93+’
S2: Sergio Mota-Mello (Yellow, Dissent) 93+

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Jeff Attinella; Boyd Okwuonu, Justen Glad (Phanuel Kavita 39’), Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Pecka (Javier Morales 58’), John Stertzer; Joao Plata, Luis Gil, Olmes Garcia (Alvaro Saborio 83’); Devon Sandoval (C).
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez, Tony Beltran, Luke Mulholland, Sebastian Saucedo.

Seattle Sounders FC 2 (4-4-2): Saif Kerawala; Giuliano Frano, Aaron Long, Damion Lowe, Nick Miele; Amadou Sanyang (C), Sergio Mota-Mello (Tosh Samkange 89’), Pablo Rossi (Diego Silvas 74’), Sam Garza (Duncan McCormick 64’); Victor Mansaray, Andy Craven.
Substitutes not used: RJ Noll, Kasey French.

Referee: Bernhard Hosu
Assistant Referees: Brandon Major, TJ Zablocki
4th Official: Brad Jensen
Attendance: 8,208
Weather: Partly cloudy and 88