KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Wednesday, August 12 2015) – Real Salt Lake ended its quest for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday with a 3-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City in the semifinal round of the tournament at Sporting Park.
RSL got an early goal from FW Olmes Garcia and GK Nick Rimando made seven saves on the night, but it wasn't enough to hold off Kansas City, who topped Salt Lake for the first time in four matches this season.
Rimando made his first save of the night in the 10th minute, springing to his right to thwart a header from Krisztian Nemeth and he would be called to action again throughout the night.
RSL was on the doorstep and finally broke through in the 24th minute. After a period of sustained possession, DF Tony Beltran sprung Garcia in behind the Sporting defense and he was left 1v1 with Tim Melia. Before Melia could commit, Garcia pelted a left-footed shot off the half-volley for the 1-0 lead.
Kansas City equalized in the 35th minute after a foul deep in Salt Lake's own end gave KC an opportunity on a low-angled free kick in the corner. Benny Feilhaber sent the ball inside the six-yard box and with Rimando shielded, Soni Mustivar got his head to the ball and knocked it into the net to even the score at 1-1 and that score remained through the end of the first half.
In the 49th minute, Sporting Kansas City nearly equalized when Nemeth found pace behind the RSL defense. With Rimando closing on him, he floated a ball past him . With the ball bounding toward the side-netting inside the far post, Beltran cleared it off the line to keep the match knotted at 1-1.
It was Rimando again coming up big in the 60th minute as Feilhaber made an attempt on goal on a free kick from 26 yards out. He got it clear of the wall, but Rimando lunged to his left for fourth save of the night.
He again made a big stop when Dom Dwyer got a bit of free space on a run up the right side, but Rimando punched his near-post shot away for a corner in the 63rd minute.
In the 80th minute, Kansas City took the lead when Dwyer got around DF Elias Vasquez on a break and fired a shot from the top of the box. The initial effort hit the left post, but the rebound caromed to Feilhaber for a blast into the open net, putting RSL down 2-1.
Kansas City put the game out of reach in the 85th minute on a misplayed header by DF Aaron Maund, who tried to play it back to Rimando, but didn't get enough on it and Nemeth intercepted it, dribbled around Rimando and shot it into the net to make it 3-1.
Real Salt Lake concludes its string of five matches in 15 days with its first home contest of the month on Saturday against the Portland Timbers. The second match of the season between the two clubs will kick off at 8 p.m. MT from Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – SKCvRSL
RSL FW Joao Plata was did not travel for the match after suffering a hamstring injury during training on Monday.
FW Olmes Garcia's goal was the first for RSL at Sporting Park in 264 minutes, dating back to the MLS Cup final in 2013.
Kansas City will travel for the first time in the tournament to face the Philadelphia Union in the Open Cup final on September 30 at PPL Park.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY 3-1 REAL SALT LAKE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2015
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City 1 2 3
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Tony Beltran) 24'
KC – Soni Mustivar (Benny Feilhaber) 35'
SKC – Benny Feilhaber 80'
SKC – Krisztian Nemeth (Benny Feilhaber) 85'
SKC – Paulo Nagamura (Yellow; Tactical Foul) 30'
SKC – Soni Mustivar (Yellow; Foul) 75'
RSL – Tony Beltran (Yellow; Handball) 76'
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Red; Violent Conduct) 93+'
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam (Marcel de Jong 91+), Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Amadou Dia; Paulo Nagamura, Soni Mustivar, Benny Feilhaber; Jacob Peterson (Connor Hallisey 64'), Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth (Chance Myers 87').
Substitutes not used: Jon Kempin, Mikey Lopez, Jimmy Medranda, Erik Palmer-Brown.
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Elias Vasquez, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Abdoulie Mansally 88'), Javier Morales; Sebastian Jaime, Devon Sandoval (Luis Gil 77'), Olmes Garcia.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Justen Glad, Pecka, Sebastian Saucedo, John Stertzer.
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Anthony Fasoli, Mark Cahen
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 82