Real Salt Lake defeated the Philadelphia Union, effectively ending their four-game winning streak while RSL wins its second straight in the confines of Rio Tinto Stadium.
For the second game in a row, Mike Petke opted to start Luis Silva in place of regular forward Yura Movsisyan. Tony Beltran also made the starting eleven for the first time in weeks since he’d been sidelined with a back injury.
RSL had a great look on goal in the eighth minute when Plata found himself with the ball at the top of the 18. He fired off a shot to the lower near corner but Philadelphia keeper Andre Blake was able to get a hand to it and keep the game scoreless.
Plata had another great look in the 16th minute when he was able to collect the ball and fire off another shot, but again Blake was there and dove to keep it out of the net for a second time.
RSL avoided a sure goal just shortly after in the 17th minute when CJ Sapong found himself behind our defense with the ball. His first poke at goal was tipped by Rimando, but Sapong recovered it and headed it at an empty net in a shot which would surely put the visitors in the lead. Aaron Maund busted into the box like a locomotive and cleared it just inches off the line to send it flying heroically over the goal and into the stands.
Plata finally outsmarted Blake in the 36th minute when he scored off a beautiful give-and-go with Jefferson Savarino. Plata dished the ball to Savarino, ran to the near post and found an unmarked space for the newcomer to slot the ball into, giving Joao an easy tap-in to put the home side up 1-0.
Both teams went into the halftime break with nine shots, but RSL led with five on frame to the Union’s two.
After more back and forth through the second half, including plenty of solid attacking play from Real Salt Lake, the game would end with Plata holding the lone goal and game-winner as RSL rolls to their second home victory in a row by a score of 1-0, while also recording their first shutout since the 3-0 win against Vancouver on April 8th.
Starting XI: Rimando; Beltran, Schuler, Maund, Wingert; Mulholland, Rusnak, Sunny; Savarino (Holness 88’), Silva (Movsisyan 64’), Plata (Schmidt 90’)