SANDY, Utah (Sunday, November 4, 2018) – Real Salt Lake got a goal from MF Albert Rusnák, but settled for a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Rusnák scored an incredible goal, only to see SKC equalize eight minutes later, setting the stage for the second leg of the aggregate-goal series on November 11 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City (1 p.m. MT, ESPN).
In a back-and-forth first half, Kansas City held a 6-5 shot advantage, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. RSL FW Jefferson Savarino forced Tim Melia into a save in the 22nd minute, while RSL GK Nick Rimando made two saves himself to keep the match scoreless.
Then Rusnák broke the stalemate in the 52nd minute when he sent a rocket of a volley off an assist from MF Damir Kreilach to put RSL up 1-0. The lead only lasted until the 60th minute, though, as SKC’s Diego Rubio sent an impressive strike off an RSL miscue into the net to even the score back up at 1-1. The two rivals managed just three shots on goal over the final 30 minutes, with neither team taking the lead before the final whistle.
In the second leg, an RSL win or a draw that sees each team score two goals or more will see Salt Lake advancing to the Western Conference Finals. A 1-1 draw will send the match to overtime, while a Kansas City win or a scoreless draw will send SKC through.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Damir Kreilach) 52nd minute – On a ball from Brooks Lennon on the right side, Albert Rusnák touched it to Damir Kreilach in the box. Kreilach then headed it back to Rusnák smashed a side-winding volley past Tim Melia for a 1-0 lead.
SKC: Diego Rubio (Felipe Gutierrez) – Nick Rimando’s clearance was deflected by an onrushing attacker and fell to Felipe Gutierrez. He found Diego Rubio for a shot from the edge of the box that found the net to equalize at 1-1.
- After receiving his second yellow card of the postseason, RSL MF Albert Rusnák will be unavailable for the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal due to yellow card accumulation.
- RSL DF Marcelo Silva left the match in the 41st minute after suffering a groin injury.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City
Western Conference Semifinals, Leg One
Date: November 4, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Cloudy and 47
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Sporting Kansas City 0 1 1
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Damir Kreilach) 52’
SKC: Diego Rubio (Felipe Gutierrez) 60’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nedum Onuoha, Marcelo Silva (Justen Glad 41’), Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Sunny; Jefferson Savarino (Sebastian Saucedo 87’), Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Corey Baird 77’); Damir Kreilach.
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Danilo Acosta, Nick Besler, Luis Silva.
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Yohan Croizet; Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza; Daniel Salloi (Gerso Fernandes 83’), Khiry Shelton (Diego Rubio 60’), Johnny Russell.
Subs not used: Adrian Zendejas, Jaylin Lindsey, Andrew Fontas, Krisztian Nemeth, Gianluca Busio.
Stats Summary: RSL / SKC
Shots: 10 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 3 / 1
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Caution) 26’
RSL: Kyle Beckerman (Caution) 72’
SKC: Diego Rubio (Caution) 76’
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Gianni Facchini, Felisha Mariscal
4th Official: Alan Kelly
VAR: David Gantar