CHESTER, Penn. (Sunday, July 31, 2016) – Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando has always had a flare for the dramatic and on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium, he made two stellar saves late in the match to preserve a 2-1 comeback win over the Philadelphia Union, tying him with Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS record with 180 career victories.
RSL got second-half goals from FW Joao Plata and MF Javier Morales to score the fifth comeback win this season as Salt Lake earned its first victory since June 22, halting a six-game winless streak.
Real nearly grabbed an early lead in the 15th minute when FW Olmes Garcia played Plata in behind the Union defense. Goalkeeper Andre Blake met Plata at the penalty spot, forcing him into a first-time shot under duress and Plata’s effort hit the post and the match remained scoreless.
Salt Lake would be outshot by the Union 6-4 in the first half and the difference came on a controversial penalty in the 42nd minute. On the play, C.J. Sapong received a pass with his back to goal and went down under the pressure of DF Aaron Maund, drawing referee Juan Guzman to point to the spot, awarding Philadelphia its eighth penalty in 22 matches this season.
Roland Alberg converted the penalty, hesitating just before pushing it into the net to Rimando’s right to put RSL behind 1-0 heading into halftime.
That lead didn’t hold long, though, as Plata netted his sixth goal of the season in the 48th minute.
Plata held the ball on the left side of the box and played it to DF Demar Phillips at the edge of the 18. Phillips touched it back to Plata for a curling shot inside the far post that left Blake helpless to keep it out of the net as Plata equalized at 1-1.
In the 54th minute, Morales made it 2-1 with another impressive strike.
Garcia made a run into the box up the right side and when he was stopped, he turned back and pulled the ball back toward the sideline. He then played a quick ball to Morales alone at the edge of the box and Morales took a touch into the box and lofted a floating shot over Blake’s reach and inside the far post for his second goal of the season.
On a hot and humid night in Chester, Salt Lake would need some late heroics to finish off the win. In the 89th minute, Philadelphia got shots from Brian Carroll, Ken Tribbett and Richie Marquez in a six-second span, all pouncing on balls in the box. Rimando saved two of the shots and the third was blocked by a defender as Salt Lake fought to the final whistle to get back in the win column.
With the win, RSL improves to 9-6-7 (34 points) and tied for fourth in the Western Conference.
RSL will remain on the road to face Toronto FC on Wednesday at BMO Field before returning home to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to meet the Chicago Fire.
GAME NOTES – PHIvRSL
- GK Nick Rimando now has 180 career MLS victories, tying him with Kevin Hartman for the top spot on the all-time MLS wins list.
- With the win, Salt Lake improved to 3-0-6 all-time against the Union. It was the Claret-and-Cobalt’s first win at Talen Energy Stadium after drawing the previous four meetings.
- FW Yura Movsisyan traveled with RSL but did not suit up after suffering a hip flexor strain July 22 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
- MF Jordan Allen did not make the trip after suffering a hamstring strain in the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game on Wednesday.
- FW Devon Sandoval was recalled from his loan to Rayo OKC. He has started and played 90 minutes in all five matches since going on loan to the NASL club, scoring on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Minnesota United.
REAL SALT LAKE 2-1 PHILADELPHIA UNION
SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016
TALEN ENERGY STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
Philadelphia Union 1 0 1
PHI: Roland Alberg (PK) 43’
RSL: Joao Plata (Demar Phillips) 48’
RSL: Javier Morales (Olmes Garcia) 54’
PHI: Fabinho (Caution; Foul) 22’
RSL: Aaron Maund (Caution; Dissent) 42’
RSL: Javier Morales (Caution; Time Wasting) 55’
PHI: Brian Carroll (Caution; Foul) 90’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman (John Stertzer 86’), Luke Mulholland; Juan Manuel Martinez (Omar Holness 69’), Javier Morales (Devon Sandoval 92+’), Joao Plata; Olmes Garcia.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Justen Glad, Phanuel Kavita, Chris Wingert.
Philadelphia Union (4-2-3-1): Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Ken Tribbett, Richie Marquez, Fabinho; Warren Creavalle (Leo Fernandes 72’), Brian Carroll; Ilsinho (Sebastien Le Toux 76’), Roland Alberg (Fabian Herbers 63’), Chris Pontius; C.J. Sapong.
Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Raymon Gaddis, Walter Restrepo, Joshua Yaro.
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Charles Morgante
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger
Weather: Mostly cloudy and 84