Real Salt Lake advances to Open Cup semifinals with a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, July 14, 2015) – It took some late heroics, but Real Salt Lake advanced to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals with a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy on Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.  DF Aaron Maund scored his first professional goal in the 87th minute while GK Jeff Attinella made four saves to earn the shutout, his second of the Open Cup tournament.

RSL will now face the winner of next week’s match between Sporting Kansas City and Houston in the Semifinal Round on August 11.  The winner of that match will host the semifinal match by virtue of the draw held last month prior to the Round of 16.  It marks the second time in the last three years that RSL has made it to the Semifinal Round.  In 2013, the Claret-and-Cobalt topped the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium to advance to the championship match.

RSL got out on the front foot from the start and in the sixth minute, FW Sebastian Jaime blasted a shot from the right side toward the far post, but LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe punched it away for the save.

Attinella faced his first stiff test in the 29th minute when Sebastian Lletget hit a blazing first-time ball off a quick pass from the right side.  Lletget’s shot was heading inside the near post, but Attinella was there for the save.

In the 53rd minute, FW Joao Plata had a chance to snare the lead on a ball from the right side, hammering a shot near post, but Rowe made the save and the Galaxy quickly went on the counter-attack.  Steven Gerrard was left 1v1 with Attinella, who closed down the longtime Liverpool midfielder who was making his first competitive appearance for the LA Galaxy, and blocked the shot with his left hand 12 yards from goal.

The match continued to teeter back and forth throughout the second half and in the 81st minute DF Tony Beltran cut back a ball for MF Javier Morales, who dribbled into the box and tried to beat Rowe near-post, but the keeper parried the shot away for a corner kick and the match remained scoreless.

Salt Lake kept the pressure on and Maund finally broke the deadlock in the 87th minute.

First, on a Morales corner kick the ball spilled through the box to DF Abdoulie Mansally on the left side and he fired a shot toward the far post that forced a stellar save out of Rowe.  After quickly regaining possession, Salt Lake pressed up the left side and MF Luke Mulholland sent a cross into the box where FW Devon Sandoval and Maund were 2v1 with a defender.  Maund got inside the marker and headed the ball back inside the near post for the goal and a 1-0 RSL lead.

RSL returns to MLS play on Saturday against the Houston Dynamo at Rio Tinto Stadium.  The match kicks off at 8 p.m. MT. 

Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSLvLA
-       Both teams played without a healthy contingent of players away on international duty at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  For RSL, that meant no MF Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimando, DF Elias Vasquez, DF Demar Phillips or FW Alvaro Saborio.  LA was without GK Jaime Penedo, DF Omar Gonzalez and FW Gyasi Zardes.
-       Tuesday also marked the competitive debut of new LA Galaxy MF Steven Gerrard.  The former England captain came to LA after playing his whole career with Liverpool.
-       DF Aaron Maund confirmed after the match that it was his first competitive goal as a professional.

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015

Goals by Period                    1          2          F
Real Salt Lake                        0         1           1
LA Galaxy                               0         0           0

Scoring Summary:

RSL: Aaron Maund (Luke Mulholland) 87’

Misconduct Summary:

RSL: Luke Mulholland (Yellow; Foul) 89’

Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Chris Schuler, Abdoulie Mansally; Luke Mulholland, Jordan Allen (John Stertzer 91+), Javier Morales (C); Sebastian Jaime (Olmes Garcia 82’), Devon Sandoval, Joao Plata.
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez, Luis Gil, Justen Glad, Pecka, Sebastian Saucedo.

LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Brian Rowe; Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Dan Gargan; Ignacio Maganto (Steven Gerrard 46’), Juninho, Kenney Walker (Alan Gordon 77’), Raul Mendiola; Robbie Keane, Sebastian Lletget.
Substitutes not used: Andrew Wolverton, Edson Buddle, Rafael Garcia, Baggio Husidic, Tommy Meyer.

Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Mark Cahen
4th Official: Brad Jensen
Attendance: 11,060
Weather: Partly cloudy and 90