Despite Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s best efforts, Real Salt Lake won their third straight home game as they knocked off expansion side Minnesota United by a score of 1-0, thanks to an 84th game-winning goal from late game sub Yura Movsisyan.
Mike Petke seemed to send a clear message to his players as he chose to put Movsisyan on the bench and start Luis Silva in his position. We also saw Justen Glad make his 2017 debut after being out all season with an injury and the U-20 World Cup. Finally, Jefferson Savarino slotted in as the playmaker in Albert Rusnak’s absence.
Minnesota came out with pressure at the beginning of the game, largely keeping the ball in their attacking third, forcing RSL to play counter attacks when they got the chance. It created a couple decent chances, but Minnesota held them off throughout the first 15 minutes.
RSL had their best chance of the half so far in the 23rd minute when they got on a breakaway. Plata, after a little give-and-go, found himself on the right side near the goal with reinforcements on the way. He dished the ball across the box to Silva who laid out a beautiful shot that was only saved by an outstretched Bobby Shuttleworth who was able to knock it away. Fantastic attacking play from RSL as they began to find their rhythm.
After plenty more attacking play from RSL, they seemed to find their groove as they dominated the attack with 11 shots and four on target, as opposed to Minnesota’s three shots with one on target. Joao Plata and Luis Silva contributed to the majority of the play going forward, while Justen Glad’s presence made a huge and immediate presence in the defensive third.
Both teams went into the half without conceding a goal — a feat that RSL hasn’t pulled off very many times this season.
The second half started no differently than the first half ended, but this time Savarino had the best chance of the game to that point as he fired a shot that would have surely beat Shuttleworth, but just hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out into the box.
RSL continued to have the lion’s share of chances on goal, but Shuttleworth continued to stand on his head, keeping his team afloat when they could have easily been trailing by four or five through the first 70 minutes.
Kyle Beckerman was shown a yellow card in the 75th minute, which makes his fifth of the season. He’ll be forced to sit out in next week’s match against San Jose due to yellow card accumulation.
RSL finally, finally broke through in the 84th minute among some confusion in the box. Shuttleworth made a save but the ball went loose in the box, and just as everyone else was raising their hand shouting for a foul, Movsisyan was there to scoop the rolling ball right up and over Shuttleworth and into the net, putting the home side up 1-0. This goal was a long time coming for Yura, who notches his fifth of the season.
Shuttleworth ended the game with eight saves, but i wouldn’t be enough as Yura’s goal would prove to be the winner.
This is RSL’s third straight win at home, although they’ve been abysmal on the road lately. They certainly improved in the final third, outshooting the visitors 29-5 overall, and 9-1 shots on target. RSL heads to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes next week, while Minnesota returns home to face the Timbers in a midweek match-up.
Starting XI: Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Glad, Acosta (Saucedo 79’); Mulholland, Savarino, Beckerman; Lennon, Silva (Movsisyan 70’), Plata (Wingert 87’)