It was a tale of two halves for Real Salt Lake: The first half, in which RSL scored just one goal, and the second half, in which RSL scored two. Which is to say, it was a good game for RSL, and I don’t think you’d be off the mark if you described it as one of RSL’s best of the season.
Minnesota United came into this one sporting a rotated lineup, and from the off, they looked like the lesser of the two sides. RSL held the better chances and the better play, with sparing moments looking contrary.
Sergio Cordova’s opening goal was was truly lovely, and it looked like a true striker’s goal. The Venezuelan attacker brought down a very poor header from Minnesota’s Brent Kallman, who pings the ball into a dangerous spot. Cordova brought it down on his chest, took a smart, simple touch inside, and simply passed the ball into the back of the net. It was a superb moment for the in-form striker.
And at that moment, stuffed animals rained down from the stands in one of the more beautiful moments in the annals of Rio Tinto Stadium. (Those stuffed toys will be donated to local charities. This reporter didn’t throw anything from the stands, but )
Kallman, arguably having committed a major error in the build-up to the first goal, saw his night proceed to worsen, getting his foot on the end of an Aaron Herrera cross as Jefferson Savarino collected his sixth goal of the season with a tidy finish from extremely close range off the glove of Minnesota keeper Dayne St. Clair.
Anderson Julio notched both his third of the year and RSL’s third of the game with a sprint past substitute goalkeeper Tyler Miller, picking up a slide rule pass from Andrew Brody that cut out every Minnesota outfielder. Brody getting into position to make that pass took a fair amount of work itself, picking a ball out of the air with an outstretched foot on a run that originated in the defensive third.