After a relatively lackluster 90 minutes, Real Salt Lake earned a 2-0 win with a pair of goals in stoppage time from Joao Plata and Jefferson Savarino as they claim the Rocky Mountain Cup for the fourth year in a row.
Nick Rimando showed once again why he earned the title of “G.O.A.T.” in the 27th minute when the Rapids came dangerously close to scoring the first goal. A shot was sent in after a corner kick, which Rimando deflected into a mass of players. It found its way back to Rimando, who was on the ground and threw up an arm to keep it out of the net yet again. After some more bouncing around and blocks by RSL defenders, the ball was finally cleared by Kyle Beckerman.
While the first half saw Colorado with more than their share of the attacking play with 15 total shots to RSL’s four, the teams went into the locker room at halftime deadlocked at 0-0. Nick Rimando made an impressive three saves overall, and RSL controlled the majority of possession with 66%.
RSL came out swinging in the second half, logging four more shots in the first 20 minutes, though none of them on target. Both Damir Kreilach and Jefferson Savarino came dangerously close, but couldn’t quite get the ball in.
Kei Kamara was shown a straight red in the 89th minute after a reckless challenge in Rimando’s penalty box. Kamara tried his hardest to plead his case to referee Ted Unkel but had no luck and was sent to the locker room.
Damir Kreilach put one past Tim Howard in the first minute of stoppage time off a beautiful assist from Savarino. After speaking to the VAR, Unkel went to video review and unfortunately called the goal back after finding Savarino to be offside.
Just a few minutes later, Unkel called a penalty kick for RSL after a handball in the box on a Rapids defender. Joao Plata stepped up to the spot and sent it in past Howard to net the game winner and put the home side up 1-0.
Just moments after that, Savarino put another one in after Rusnak dribbled to the end line and sent a ball up to him right in front of goal. Savarino first-timed it right past Howard to increase the lead to 2-0 in the last play of the game.
This win puts RSL up into second place just ahead of the Seattle Sounders as the playoff race heats up.