Let’s face it. You’re here because you’re happy. You’re here because you’re celebrating. Or, potentially, you’re here because you have no idea what happened and are just trying to wrap your head around it.
Regardless, Real Salt Lake executed one of the most exciting victories I’ve seen at Rio Tinto Stadium, vaulting into second place in the Western Conference in the process.
Here are some absolutely key moments.
First, this instance in the 27th minute of Nick Rimando making some absolutely fantastic saves. Just... just watch.
Nick Rimando makes a good, solid save first. But when that ball comes back around to him, he’s reaching his hand up for one of the most amazing saves I’ve probably seen in person. Like, wow. Here’s another angle.
From there, you won’t see many highlights. Mostly because there weren’t any moments to highlight, really. So, fast forward: minute 88.
Kei Kamara sees red for a tackle on Brooks Lennon. His reaction?
Never a Red card, Never a penalty, we worked too hard to lose in that manner. Sorry and thanks to our fans that came out tonight. #Rapids96— KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) August 25, 2019
Well, that’s a fun one!
He did also take roughly 15 years to leave the field afterward, which I’m sure he’ll be fined for and won’t regret at all.
Anyway, you can watch the full highlight video for the tackle. Here’s one frame — for context — so you can see just how high Kamara’s foot was, studs fully exposed.
Cue the 91st minute. On basically the next play post-red-card, Damir Kreilach scored what we were certain was a gamewinner. Jefferson Savarino — the assist-provider — was flagged for offside on the play during review, which was probably accurate.
Then, in the 95th minute — there were just four minutes of stoppage time given, but Kamara took time to leave, and there was plenty of other complaining to be had from players who weren’t sent off, plus the video review — we had our second crazy moment of the night.
Joao Plata, having recently returned from the dead, thumped a cross into the arm of Lalas Abubakar, and the referee whistled for the penalty.
Joao Plata dispatched that one, and it was nearly stopped by Tim Howard. We’re in the 97th minute here. Remember: Stoppage time was set for four minutes. We’ve now had a red card, an overturned goal, and a penalty called. Getting exhausted yet?
Oh, and this is good. Diego Rubio, who had been substituted earlier in the match, actually tweeted about the penalty, trying to talk a bit of trash.
During the match.
Like, seriously. He tweeted right after the penalty. 10:05 p.m.. It’s truly bizarre. (Either that, or somebody else manages his Twitter, in which case, whooooooa.)
It's really not often you get to see a player tweeting DURING THE GAME after being subbed, is it? That's really spectacular. Good on you, Diego Rubio. https://t.co/PFTgqZyM7Y— Matt Montgomery (@TheCrossbarRSL) August 25, 2019
Here’s the second goal. Ignore the commentary, it’s real bad. (They claim Brooks Lennon should have been ejected inside the second minute for a second yellow card. Which is weird, considering his yellow card came in the 8th minute, and honestly? On replay, I don’t think it was much of a foul. If it was a foul, it was certainly a yellow card. He really just sort of taps him on the back — dumb, really. And maybe Lennon deserved a yellow card for how he gave up the ball. Anyway, yeah. Ignore the commentary.
Icing on the Rocky Mountain Cake pic.twitter.com/HDb9w0gEBC— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) August 25, 2019
Yeah, that’s a good goal. In the 98th minute, with four minutes of stoppage time. I love (and simultaneously am prone to hate) soccer.
Anyway, there you have it. Real Salt Lake is second place in the Western Conference.
Let’s just bask in this one for now.