Commerce City, Colorado (Saturday, August 25, 2018) – Real Salt Lake (12-10-5, 41 points) left no doubt in the final match of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup. After going up two goals and seeing two Colorado Rapids players ejected in the first half, RSL coasted to a 6-0 win to raise the cup for the tenth time in the last 12 seasons, going 2-0-1 in the season series against the rival Rapids.
MF Damir Kreilach, FW Jefferson Savarino, FW Joao Plata, FW Corey Baird and MF Albert Rusnák each scored – with Savarino tallying twice for RSL – while GK Nick Rimando returned to the field to post his 144th career shutout and 207th career victory after missing last week’s match with a hamstring strain.
Real Salt Lake took an early lead when Kreilach netted his seventh goal of the season in the sixth minute. MF Kyle Beckerman played a ball in behind the Rapids defense into the path of Plata up the left side of the box. Plata then played a cutback to Kreilach who hit a first-time shot inside the far post to stake RSL to a 1-0 lead. Salt Lake then went on a man-advantage in the ninth minute when Colorado’s Niki Jackson was ejected for violent conduct while setting up for a Rapids corner kick. Before halftime, Savarino made it 2-0 with his first of the match and Colorado saw a second player sent off when Bismark Boateng saw a red card after video review spotted serious foul play, leaving the Rapids with just nine men for the second half.
With the two-man advantage, RSL stepped on the gas in the final 45 minutes, holding nearly 70% of the possession and outshooting the Rapids 15-0 in the second half. Savarino added his second goal of the match – and fifth of the season – in the 58th minute and the onslaught continued. Plata made it 4-0 in the 69th minute with his eighth goal of the season. Baird scored his sixth of the season in the 74th minute to lift RSL to a 5-0 lead. Then finally Rusnák scored his eighth of the season in the 86th minute for the final 6-0 score line.
The win was the second consecutive road victory for RSL and kept Salt Lake in fourth in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the LA Galaxy in fifth place and two points behind third-place LAFC.
UP NEXT: RSL returns home to host the LA Galaxy on September 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Labor Day Weekend match kicks off at 8 p.m.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Joao Plata, Kyle Beckerman), sixth minute – Kyle Beckerman played a well-weighted ball in behind the Rapids defense, leading Joao Plata up the left side of the box. Plata then played a cut-back ball for Damir Kreilach, who fired a first-time shot inside the far post for his seventh goal of the season to put RSL up 1-0.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino, 33rd minute – Damir Kreilach played the ball to Albert Rusnák at the edge of the 18. He had the ball poked away, but it fell right to Jefferson Savarino, who fired his shot past Tim Howard for his fourth goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Corey Baird), 58th minute – Early in the second half, Jefferson Savarino took a pass from Corey Baird as RSL looked to counter. He carried it into the attacking third and with time and space, let fly with a shot that eluded the outstretched glove of Tim Howard and found the top corner of the net for his second goal of the night, fifth of the season and a 3-0 lead.
RSL: Joao Plata, 69th minute – Danilo Acosta made a run into the corner and crossed for Joao Plata alone in the box. Plata’s initial header was stopped by Tim Howard, but his putback found the net for his eighth goal of the season to make it 4-0.
RSL: Corey Baird (Jefferson Savarino, Danilo Acosta), 74th minute – Danilo Acosta played a ball from the edge of the 18 to Jefferson Savarino at the far post. He knocked it down and left it for Corey Baird, who took a touch and ripped it into the net for his sixth goal of the year and a 5-0 advantage.
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Corey Baird) 86th minute – Damir Kreilach passed to Albert Rusnák just outside the box and Rusnák played a one-two with Corey Baird before firing a volley for his eighth goal of the season and a 6-0 score.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
RSL: Aaron Herrera, 15th minute – Off a Colorado corner kick, Kortne Ford put a shot on goal that looked to be destined to find the net inside the far post, but Aaron Herrera made a leaping stop, heading the ball clear to keep the Rapids off the board.
- The six-goal win marked just the fourth time in MLS history that a club had won by six or more goals on the road. The others included the New York Red Bulls topping NYCFC 7-0 in 2016; Chicago winning 7-0 at Kansas City in 2001; and the LA Galaxy going 8-1 over Dallas in 1998.
- GK Nick Rimando returned to the lineup after missing his first match of the season last week against the Houston Dynamo. He extended his all-time MLS records with 207 career wins and 144 career shutouts. The victory was his 24th against Colorado, the most of any opponent in the league.
- RSL has won the Rocky Mountain Cup three consecutive seasons and 10 times in the last 12 seasons.
Match: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids
Date: August 25, 2018
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colorado
Weather: Cloudy and 86
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 4 6
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
RSL: Damir Kreilach (Joao Plata, Kyle Beckerman) 6’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino 33’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Corey Baird) 58’
RSL: Joao Plata 69’
RSL: Corey Baird (Jefferson Savarino, Danilo Acosta) 74’
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Corey Baird) 86’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon (Danilo Acosta 62’), Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera; Sunny (Corey Baird 46’), Kyle Beckerman; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Sebastian Saucedo 71’); Damir Kreilach.
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Adam Henley, Shawn Barry, Luis Silva.
Colorado Rapids (4-3-1-2): Tim Howard; Kortne Ford (Deklan Wynne 70’), Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Edgar Castillo; Kellyn Acosta, Dillon Serna, Bismark Adjei-Boateng; Jack Price (Johan Blomberg 70’); Jack McBean (Giles Barnes 34’), Niki Jackson.
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Cole Bassett, Shkelzen Gashi, Enzo Martinez.
Stats Summary: RSL / COL
Shots: 21 / 4
Shots on Goal: 13 / 1
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 13 / 4
Offside: 3 / 1
RSL: Brooks Lennon (Caution) 7’
COL: Niki Jackson (Ejection) 9’
COL: Bismark Boateng (Caution) 19’
COL: Bismark Boateng (Ejection) 45’
RSL: Aaron Herrera (Caution) 51’
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
Video Assistant Referee: Armando Villarreal