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RSL pulls off stoppage time win over Atlanta United, 2-1

Jefferson Savarino netted the game winner in the dying seconds of the match.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

With their backs to the wall against a much more hyped Atlanta United team, Real Salt Lake pulled off a massive win, beating the defending MLS Cup champions 2-1 with a stoppage time Jefferson Savarino goal.

RSL dominated for much of the match, with the final 15 minutes being the sole exception — that being the point in which RSL conceded a classic Josef Martinez goal.

The 15th minute saw the first real opportunity for Atlanta United, with Josef Martinez nearly catching Nick Rimando out at the top of the box; a last-ditch clearance sent the ball out to Rimando’s left, and an ensuing shot was sent well wide of goal.

The 21st minute saw RSL with a chance carved out of basically nothing, with Jefferson Savarino hitting the post on a deflected shot from outside the box.

Sebastian Saucedo opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a shot from distance in a near repeat of his goal against Toronto FC a week prior, finishing from the top of the box past Guzan with a low, dipping shot.

The second half continued seeing RSL dominating play, by and large, with Justen Glad and Donny Toia both going close around the 70th minute. The latter play featured some true magnificence from Corey Baird. Saucedo proved vital in creating chances, with two glorious lobbed passes slashing open the Atlanta defense.

Finishing for Real Salt Lake was not, however, on full display: By the two-thirds mark, Saucedo’s goal remained the sole tally.

The 78th minute saw Atlanta equalize, with Josef Martinez — who else? — finishing a trademark goal with a burst past Justen Glad. It was a goal you’ve certainly seen in highlight reels from Martinez, and it is certainly something RSL could have prevented. It came at a precarious time for RSL, whose dominance faded around the three-quarters mark. Perhaps not coincidentally, Damir Kreilach’s substitution came around the same point.

With time expiring, a counterattack flew well over the crossbar when Albert Rusnak received a peach of a pass at the top of the box and skied his ensuing pass. It seemed a lost cause at that point, with it being the 93rd minute and all.

But Jefferson Savarino had other plans. On undoubtedly the last play of the game, Jefferson Savarino blasted in a shot from outside the box, beating Guzan and sealing a massive comeback win.


Real Salt Lake

Herrera, Glad, Onuoha, Toia
Besler, Kreilach (72’ Jefferson)
Saucedo, Rusnak, Savarino
Baird (80’ Johnson)

Bench: Putna, Silva, Lennon, Portillo, Luiz, Plata, Johnson

Atlanta United

Parkhurst, Robinson, Gonzalez Pirez, Shea
Remedi, Larentowicz
Gressel, Nagbe, Pereira
Josef Martinez

Bench: Kann, Pogba, Escobar, Meram, Gonzalo Martinez, Andrew Carleton