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Real Salt Lake downs rivals Sporting Kansas City with 2-0 win

Sam Johnson bagged a brace to lead RSL to a 2-0 win over Western Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City.

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

A full-strength lineup saw Real Salt Lake cruise to a win as Sam Johnson grabbed a brace to carry the home side to a 2-0 win over their Western Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City.

RSL didn’t waste much time before they staked their claim with a goal from Sam Johnson in the 15th minute. A set piece led to a great ball in from outside the box by Damir Kreilach, which was headed on by Beckerman and found its way straight to Johnson’s foot for the easy tap-in. RSL would go up 1-0 early in the game.

Johnson grabbed his second of the game in the 29th minute thanks to a gorgeous setup from Kreilach, in which it looked like Kreilach was about to take a shot with his left foot but Johnson swooped in and netted it in with his right to put the home side up 2-0.

Despite the visitors outshooting and outpossessing the home side, RSL went into the locker room at halftime enjoying a 2-0 lead thanks to two big goals from Sam Johnson.

The second half saw more of the same — possession from Kansas City with the inability to finish. RSL’s defense held them off, staying comfortable with their 2-0 lead.

RSL almost hit their third goal late in the game as Corey Baird sent a cross in, but a defensive play gone awry saw SKC ‘keeper Tim Melia diving to make a save on what would have been an own goal from Kansas City.

RSL thought they had the third goal yet again in the 86th minute when Rusnak sent in a beautiful cross that found Kreilach’s head and ended up in the back of the net, but after video review the referee called it back for offside, keeping the score at 2-0.

RSL moves back into seventh place in the Western Conference with this win as they stay home to host Columbus Crew SC at home on July 3.