SANDY, Utah (Saturday, August 4, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (10-9-4, 34 points) extended its home unbeaten streak to 11 straight matches (9-0-2) after a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire in front of 19,817 in attendance at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
MF Damir Kreilach scored both goals for RSL to equal the team lead with six goals on the season, getting on the end of balls from FW Jefferson Savarino and FW Joao Plata in each half to secure three points. GK Nick Rimando made three saves as RSL earned its 10th win of the season to stay above the playoff line in sixth in the Western Conference.
RSL dominated first-half possession, keeping the ball for over 70 percent of the action in the first 45 minutes. The home side also put Chicago goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland under pressure throughout the half. But it wasn’t until first-half stoppage time that Kreilach was able to stake Salt Lake to the lead. Savarino curled in a ball from the right side and Kreilach got in between two defenders to head a shot past Cleveland for his fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead three minutes into stoppage time.
In the second half, Chicago Fire halftime substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger blasted home an equalizer in the 48th minute, teeing up and firing from 30 yards on a shot that whistled past Rimando for his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-1. RSL looked to have the go-ahead goal in the 57th minute when FW Corey Baird ripped a shot on the break. Cleveland made the initial stop, but Savarino thumped in the rebound, only to be flagged offside and the match remained 1-1. In the 75th minute, Kreilach netted his second of the night when Savarino led Plata up the right side and Plata sent a ball across the top of the six-yard box. Kreilach cut inside his defender and poked home the goal to give RSL the 2-1 win.
UP NEXT: RSL remains at home to face the Montreal Impact in the only meeting of the season between the two clubs on August 11 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Jefferson Savarino) 45th minute +3 – Jefferson Savarino played a ball in from the right side and Damir Kreilach got in behind his defender to put a header past Stefan Cleveland for his fifth goal of the season to give RSL the 1-0 lead.
CHI: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Drew Conner) 48th minute – Given time and space, Bastian Schweinsteiger wound up from 30 yards and put a rocket past Nick Rimando for his fourth goal of the season to tie it at 1-1.
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Joao Plata, Jefferson Savarino) 75th minute – Jefferson Savarino played the ball wide to Joao Plata on the right side. He carried it to the endline and sent a cross along the edge of the six-yard box. Damir Kreilach cut inside his defender at the far post and poked in his second goal of the match.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
CHI: Stefan Cleveland, 22nd minute – Off an RSL corner kick, the ball skipped to Joao Plata at the far post. He hit a half-volley through traffic, but Stefan Cleveland dove to his left to make the save.
RSL: Nick Rimando, 43rd minute – On a deep throw on the left side, Jorge Corrales bounced the ball to Luis Solignac who hit a blind header that forced Nick Rimando into a stellar save to tip the shot over the crossbar.
CHI: Stefan Cleveland, 89th minute – Albert Rusnák played the ball to Joao Plata at the edge of the 18. Plata then back-heeled the ball into the path of Damir Kreilach, who shot in an effort to finish his hat trick, only to be thwarted by Stefan Cleveland, deflecting the shot over the crossbar for the save.
- Head Coach Mike Petke returned to the sideline after serving a two-match suspension.
- RSL reached 10 wins in 23 games this season, the fastest the club has reached 10 wins since 2014 when it also took 23 games to earn 10 wins. By reaching double-digit victories on August 4, it was the earliest in the year that plateau has been achieved since 2013, when the club won its 10th game on June 29 (after 18 games).
- MF Damir Kreilach now shares the team lead in goals (six) with Joao Plata and assists (six) with Albert Rusnák and Jefferson Savarino.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire
Date: August 4, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Hazy and 84
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Chicago Fire 0 1 1
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Jefferson Savarino) 48+’
CHI: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Drew Conner) 48’
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Joao Plata, Jefferson Savarino) 75’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach; Jefferson Savarino (Sebastian Saucedo 92+’), Albert Rusnák (Nick Besler 95+’), Joao Plata; Corey Baird (Sunny 86’).
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Danilo Acosta, Shawn Barry, Pablo Ruiz.
Chicago Fire (5-4-1): Stefan Cleveland; Diego Campos (Nicolas Hasler 32’), Kevin Ellis, Jonathan Campbell, Brandon Vincent, Jorge Corrales (Bastian Schweinsteiger 46’); Raheem Edwards (Aleksander Katai 69’), Drew Conner, Tony Tchani, Luis Solignac; Alan Gordon.
Subs not used: Richard Sanchez, Mohammed Adams, Brandt Bronico, Nemanja Nikolic.
Stats Summary: RSL / CHI
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 10 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 4 / 14
Offside: 7 / 2
CHI: Drew Conner (Caution) 55’
RSL: Marcelo Silva (Caution) 90’
CHI: Sebastian Schweinsteiger (Caution) 96+’
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Gjovalin Bori
4th Official: Malik Badawi
Video Assistant Referee: Kevin Terry, Jr.