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Baird bags brace, RSL ousts SKC 2-1

A brace from Corey Baird led Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 win on the road over rivals Sporting Kansas City in their fifth-straight unbeaten.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

A brace from Corey Baird sent Real Salt Lake past Sporting Kansas City with a 2-1 on the road, extending their unbeaten streak to five games straight.

Freddy Juarez, in his third-straight game as acting head coach in the midst of Mike Petke’s suspension, fielded a lineup that saw Nick Besler get the start next to Kyle Beckerman while Corey Baird started on the left wing with Damir Kreilach in central attack. Sam Johnson was also available on the bench after being out for quite some time with an injury.

Johnny Russell opened the scoring for Sporting Kansas City in the 31st minute with a rocket off a set piece just outside the box. He sent his free kick sailing over the wall and to the far post just past an outstretched Nick Rimando to put the home side up 1-0.

RSL answered back just a few minutes later off a set piece of their own that saw Baird bang one in the back of the net. Albert Rusnak took a free kick that bounced off the post and found its way directly to Baird’s feet. Corey, all alone, easily sent the ball past SKC ‘keeper Tim Melia to equalize the game at 1-1.

SKC drew a penalty kick in first half stoppage time when Donny Toia clipped an SKC player. Luckily, Felipe Gutierrez sent the PK off the post and back into play, keeping the game tied.

The half ended with that score line, while SKC enjoyed 56% of possession and outshot the visitors 7-4 overall, but both teams logged two shots on target in the first 45.

RSL took the lead in the 70th minute thanks to another goal from Corey Baird. A long ball over the top from Savarino found its way straight to an unmarked Baird just inside the box, who was able to collect it and let a left-footed shot rip toward the far post and into the back of the net.

After a red card issued to Daniel Salloi, the game ended with the visitors on top cruising to a 2-1 win. RSL returns home next week to take on the top teams in the west as both Seattle and LAFC come into town.