KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Saturday, August 10, 2019) – Real Salt Lake (11-9-4, 37 points) fell behind in the first half, but stormed back for a 2-1 road win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park.
FW Corey Baird scored goals in both halves to power RSL back from an early deficit for the second straight week as Salt Lake improved to 5-1-3 since the Gold Cup break in June.
In a physical first half, Sporting struck first when Johnny Russell thundered a free kick around the wall and into the top-left corner of the net to make it 1-0 in the 31st minute. RSL found the equalizer in the 38th minute when Baird connected on a rebound when MF Albert Rusnák’s free kick caromed off the upright, leaving Baird alone in front of goal for the putback goal to level the match at 1-1. Kansas City had a chance to take a lead into halftime when DF Donny Toia was whistled for a foul in the box, but Felipe Gutierrez clanged his penalty off the upright in stoppage time and RSL cleared it keep the match even at the break.
In the second half, Baird added his second goal in the 70th minute, taking down a ball from FW Jefferson Savarino before blasting it inside the far post for his second goal of the match to put RSL up 2-1. RSL’s sturdy defense closed out the match and returns to Utah for three consecutive home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will face Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
SKC: Johnny Russell, 31st minute – With a free kick set up just outside the box, Johnny Russell clipped a shot around the wall and beyond the outstretched hand of Nick Rimando for his eighth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
RSL: Corey Baird, 38th minute – Albert Rusnák blasted a free kick from just outside the box off the upright and the rebound fell to Corey Baird alone in front of goal. He gathered the ball and fired the rebound into the net for his second goal of the year to equalize at 1-1.
RSL: Corey Baird (Jefferson Savarino), 70th minute – On a ball from right to left from Jefferson Savarino, Corey Baird settled it with his chest and ripped a left-footed shot across the face of Tim Melia and inside the far post for his second goal of the night and third of the season to give RSL the 2-1 lead.
- DF Tony Beltran (knee) and FW Sebastian Saucedo (right thigh strain) were out of action due to injury.
- MF Everton Luiz was unavailable while serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.
- FW Sam Johnson and DF Nedum Onuoha both returned to action as second-half substitutes after missing the previous five matches. Onuoha was on the bench last week in a 3-1 win over New York City FC.
- MF Nick Besler left the match in the 64th minute with a bruised right foot suffered early in the match.
- Since returning from the Gold Cup break on June 22, RSL has the best defense in MLS. In those nine matches, RSL is 5-1-3 with four shutouts and a league-best 0.55 goals against average.
- RSL acquired MF Kelyn Rowe from Sporting Kansas City in a trade on Wednesday. He was unavailable for Saturday’s match, but will join the team in training on Monday.
- Freddy Juarez served as acting head coach in place of the suspended Mike Petke, who was serving the third match of his three-match suspension.
Match: Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City
Date: August 10, 2019
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Sunny and 90
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Sporting Kansas City 1 0 1
SKC: Johnny Russell 31’
RSL: Corey Baird 38’
RSL: Corey Baird (Jefferson Savarino) 70’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Aaron Herrera, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Donny Toia; Kyle Beckerman, Nick Besler (Sam Johnson 64’); Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák (Brooks Lennon 90’+4), Corey Baird (Nedum Onuoha 76’); Damir Kreilach
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, Justin Portillo, Tate Schmitt, Joao Plata
Sporting Kansas City: (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Fontas, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Jimmy Medranda 82’); Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez (Gianluca Busio 90’+1); Johnny Russell, Erik Hurtado, Gerso Fernandez (Daniel Salloi 6’)
Subs not used: Eric Dick, Nicholas Hasler, Graham Smith, Luis Martins
Stats Summary: RSL / SKC
Shots: 11 / 12
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 4 / 0
RSL: Nick Besler (caution) 29’
SKC: Felipe Gutierrez (caution) 29’
RSL: Donny Toia (caution) 45’+2
SKC: Andreu Fontas (caution) 45’+4
RSL: Corey Baird (caution) 76’
SKC: Daniel Salloi (ejection) 84’
SKC: Erik Hurtado (caution) 90’+2
RSL: Aaron Herrera (caution) 90’+5
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Michael Radchuk
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez