Recap: Seattle conquer Rio Tinto with 2-1 win over RSL
SANDY, Utah - The Seattle Sounders came to Rio Tinto Stadium, they saw, and they conquered. Second-half goals from Seattle's Patrick Ianni and Lamar Neagle were too many to overcome for a 10-man Real Salt Lake as the Sounders ended RSL's home unbeaten streak at 29 games with a 2-1 win.
Ianni scored off a set piece in the 71st minute, but it was a great goal from Neagle in the 84th - his first in MLS - that proved to be decisive, as RSL's Nelson Gonzalez answered right back with a beauty of his own three minutes later.
In the first half, both Real Salt Lake and Seattle were searching for answers, as neither team had lived up to their potential in recent matches. Although the feeling out process would last much of the first stanza, both sides managed to create some opportunities.
The most dangerous came in the 10th minute, when Seattle's Nate Jacqua got a his head on the end of a corner kick. The effort appeared on target, but RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman managed to get his own head on the ball to keep it from finding the net.
The home side would answer back around the 20th minute, when Will Johnson and Jean Alexandre, who was filling in for Álvaro Saborío, let loose two long range efforts. Neither shot, though, had enough mustard to seriously challenge 'keeper Kasey Keller.
Seattle would see another good opportunity go lacking at the half-hour mark, when first-half substitute Neagle got into space behind the defense and put a blast right into the chest of Nick Rimando.
After emerging from the lockers tied 0-0, the home squad upped the intensity in seach of a goal and managed to create several scrambles in Seattle's end.
In the 47th minute, Fabián Espíndola sidestepped two defenders and took a shot that was headed straight towards the corner of goal, but a last minute dive by Keller knocked the ball ever so slightly off of its path.
Keller would come up big again just four minutes later. After a shot deflected off of Ianni, RSL's Jámison Olave pounced on the rebound. Keller moved in quick, though, and managed to get a hand on Olave's header, sending the effort crashing onto the crossbar.
Almost as quickly as Olave became the hero for RSL, he became the villain. Just before the clock struck the hour mark, Seattle's Mike Fucito got behind Olave, who was the last defender on the play. Olave reached back through the player to get the ball, bringing Fucito down in the process and earning a red card for his tackle.
Seattle would go on to capitalize on their extra man advantage in the 72nd minute. Jaqua knocked a corner down with his head and onto the foot of Fredy Montero. The Colombian, who entered the match as a second-half sub, then sent it over to Ianni, who was on the doorstep of the goal and easily put it away for the 1-0 advantage.
RSL pressured for the equalizer but gave up another goal off of a long distance blast from Neagle in the 84th minute. The 24-year-old received the ball near the edge of the 18-yard box and curled in shot over Rimando and into the far upper 90 to give the Sounders a two-goal cushion.
Salt Lake pulled one back just four minutes later to regain some late hope when teenager Luis Gil delivered a ball to Gonzalez in the box. Gonzalez turned a defender and ran towards the middle of the penalty area, striking a left-footer easily past a helpless Keller to cut Seattle's lead in half.
Despite some nervous moments in the final stages, the Sounders would hold on for the victory to halt RSL's unbeaten home streak in MLS at 29.
RSL's next chance for redemption at home will be next Saturday, when the Vancouver Whitecaps visit Rio Tinto. Seattle, meanwhile, head to Toyota Park to face off against the Chicago Fire, also next Saturday.
SEA -- Patrick Ianni 1 (Fredy Montero 4, Nate Jaqua 1) 71
SEA -- Lamar Neagle 1 (Tyson Wahl 2) 84
RSL -- Nelson Gonzalez 1 (unassisted) 88
RSL -- Will Johnson (caution; Reckless Foul) 27
RSL -- Jamison Olave (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 58
RSL -- Chris Wingert (caution; Reckless Foul) 65
SEA -- James Riley (caution; Dissent) 81
SEA -- Tyson Wahl (caution; Reckless Foul) 90
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Erik Friberg (Roger Levesque 80), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 18), Nate Jaqua, Mike Fucito (Fredy Montero 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mauro Rosales, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell (Nelson Gonzalez 76), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams (Luis Gil 86), Will Johnson, Jean Alexandre (Chris Wingert 62), Fabian Espindola.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Schuler, Collen Warner, Kyle Reynish, Artur Aghasyan.
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: -Rob Fereday; Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Weather: Cloudy and 57 degrees