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RSL extends home unbeaten streak to 8, downs SKC 4-2

In a heated battle between two rivals, RSL came out on top with a final score line of 4-2.

MLS: Sporting KC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake snapped a three-game winless skid, while extending their home unbeaten streak to eight in a row by defeating the then-western conference leaders Sporting Kansas City by a score of 4-2.

SKC has since slipped to second place after this loss and FC Dallas’ victory over Atlanta United tonight.

It didn’t take long for the scoring to open, as Sporting Kansas City drew first blood off a goal from none other than Daniel Salloi. Good for his sixth goal on the season, he was able to easily grab a cross and tap in it right past Rimando, putting the visitors up 1-0 early in the first half.

RSL almost pulled one back three minutes later after some great play from Albert Rusnak, when he lobbed the ball off to Corey Baird in the box. After a quick give-and-go, Baird launched a shot to catch ‘keeper Tim Melia off guard, but it just went wide of the post and out for a goal kick.

Just five minutes after that, RSL around themselves with a pair of corner kicks. After the second one, the ball bounced around in the box from Baird, to Sunny, to Glad, who all tried to get a decent touch on it amidst a sea of blue shirts. The ball found its way out to the top of the box where Jefferson Savarino was waiting, unmarked. He ripped a shot that sailed over the SKC defenders, took a slight deflection and went right in the back of the net, equalizing the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute.

In the 37th minute, RSL grabbed a second goal thanks to Corey Baird’s attacking prowess. On an RSL throw-in, the ball found its way into the box, and while most of the SKC defenders stood around watching the ball in confusion, Baird grabbed it, dribbled toward the net and easily slotted it right past Melia to put the home side up 2-1.

Bofo Saucedo increased the home side’s lead in stoppage time of the first half with a beautiful shot from just outside the box. It bent perfectly toward the far post and just past Melia’s outstretched hand to put RSL up 3-1 just before the halftime break.

After some more great attacking play from RSL to start the second half, SKC pulled one back in the 64th minute thanks to Ike Opara, which came directly after a play that saw Danny Acosta on the ground after a slide tackle that went uncalled by the ref. The goal stood and RSL’s lead would be pulled back to one, with a 3-2 shoreline.

Rusnak drew a penalty in 79th minute when he was tripped up in the box by Roger Espinoza. In possibly the strangest penalty kick ever taken at Rio Tinto Stadium, Rusnak appeared to try and chip the keeper, when he lobbed it up slowly to the top middle. SKC ‘keeper Tim Melia easily caught it, not even having to move, and RSL’s chance to go up by two again was gone in an instant.

After two SKC red cards and seven minutes of stoppage time, it wasn’t enough for Kansas City to find an equalizer. In fact, Luis Silva was taken down in the box as he was streaking toward goal, with no defenders between he and Melia. Surprisingly, the ref only issued a yellow card even though Silva was denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Regardless, he converted the penalty kick to put the game to bed at 4-2 as the whistle blew for full time immediately after.

RSL improves to 26 points and holds firmly at fourth place in the West as they host conference leaders FC Dallas on Saturday.