Real Salt Lake demolished the San Jose Earthquakes by a score of 4-0, thanks to goals from Luis Silva, Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, and Yura Movsisyan as they inch closer to the red line in the Western Conference table.
RSL came out on the front foot, controlling the majority of the attacking play. The link-up play between Albert Rusnak and the rest of the front four looked promising, and both Savarino and Silva had some solid chances in the first 20 minutes.
That hard work from the attacking side paid off in the 29th minute when Luis Silva tallied his fourth goal of the season, and his third in just three games. A long ball from midfield found Silva open on the goal’s right side, where he sent in a shot that rolled through SJ ‘keeper Andrew Tarbell’s legs and into the far corner of the net to put the home side up 1-0.
Rusnak had a golden chance when he ripped a shot from the top of the 18 in the 37th minute. The shot was on frame but Tarbell was just barely able to get a hand to it to tip it up and over, keeping RSL from doubling their lead.
After Plata had another great chance that forced Tarbell to make a diving save, the ref blew the whistle for halftime and the first 45 minutes ended with RSL enjoying a 1-0 lead.
Not only did they dominate possession in the first half 59-41%, but they outshot the visitors 6-3 overall, with three shots on frame that all could have easily gone in the net, but for a couple fantastic saves from Tarbell.
It looked as though Plata got RSL’s second goal of the night in the 50th minute as he collected a rebound from a Silva shot and put it in the back of the net. However, the play went to video review and referee Silviu Petrescu called the goal back due to an apparent foul against Silva on Tarbell in the play leading up to the goal.
RSL didn’t slow down on the attack, though, as Rusnak bounced a great shot past the goalkeeper but off the far post just a few minutes later.
Things got worse for the Earthquakes when Anibal Godoy got his second yellow and was sent off the field after Petrescu called him for a foul on Rusnak near the midfield line. The visitors fell to 10 men and RSL kept on turning up the pressure.
The post made a big save for the Quakes yet again in the 63rd minute, but this time it was from a Luke Mulholland shot that narrowly missed the back of the net.
The home side broke through again in the 68th minute with an absolute stunner from Jefferson Savarino. A right-footed shot from a tough angle with a defender just in front of him saw the ball sail over Tarbell’s outstretched hand and into the upper 90 to put RSL up 2-0. There was absolutely nothing Tarbell could do about that golazo as Savarino gave RSL a comfortable lead.
Rusnak added another to the scoresheet in the 80th minute off a beautiful cross from Plata. Albert was able to put his foot out and put a first-time shot right past Tarbell and into the net with ease. RSL led 3-0 over a short-handed and struggling Earthquakes side.
Late-game sub Yura Movsisyan pulled his seventh goal of the season in stoppage time when he found himself in a 3-on-2 breakaway in RSL’s favor. His first shot was blocked by an Earthquakes defender, but he chased it down and put the rebound in the back of the net, good for RSL’s fourth goal of the night.
RSL ended the night with 22 shots in total, outshooting the visitors who only tallied seven. Nine of those 22 shots were on frame. The lopsided possession stat tilted even more in RSL’s direction as they finished with a commanding 63-38%.
With this win, RSL pulls within one point of San Jose, and sit just three points out of the playoffs and behind Vancouver, who drew with Seattle tonight.