Rubio Rubin scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season, and Real Salt Lake somehow overcame a brilliant hat trick from Eduardo "Chofis" Lopez to earn a wild 4-3 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night at PayPal Park.

Albert Rusnak scored and had two assists, the latter coming on Rubin's 81st-minute match-winner. Justin Meram also scored for the Claret & Cobalt, snapping a five-match away losing streak and seven-match road winless run while moving up to sixth place in the congested Western Conference table.

Meanwhile, the Quakes fell six points adrift of the West playoff line after losing their second straight at home and sixth overall at PayPal Park. This was despite an 80-minute shift from Chofis that ranks among the best offensive performances ever given in MLS, considering the exceptional nature of his three goals. Chofis now leads San Jose with eight tallies this season.

San Jose had chances at a late leveler after the influential Mexican's night ended. But RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa denied Jackson Yuiell from close range and pushed away Oswaldo Alanis' ferocious effort from distance, both during nine-plus minutes of second-half stoppage time.

The night might have also finished differently had Nima Saghafi's red card to Damir Kreilach been upheld. But after Saghafi watched a Video Review of Kreilach's arm catching Tanner Beason in the neck area during a second-half aerial challenge, he reduced the red to a yellow.

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Goals

  • 26' - SJ - Eduardo Lopez | WATCH
  • 45'+2' - RSL - Rubio Rubin | WATCH
  • 49' - RSL - Albert Rusnak | WATCH
  • 50' - SJ - Eduardo Lopez | WATCH
  • 65' - SJ - Eduardo Lopez | WATCH
  • 71' - RSL - Justin Meram | WATCH
  • 81' - RSL - Rubio Rubin | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Win or lose, RSL have certainly looked different in their four games under interim manager Pablo Mastroeni, scoring 10 goals and conceding 12 in four games since Freddy Juarez departed for the Seattle Sounders. As for the Quakes, this will be a brutal defeat considering the nature of Chofis' performance, which for a night made the continued injury absence of striker Jeremy Ebobisse an afterthought.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: We'll get to Chofis, but Rubin's second brace of the MLS season came in a big spot for an RSL side clinging to an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs place. His second here came on a lovely through-ball from Rusnak, but Rubin also struck it extremely well in stride to beat JT Marcinkowski to his near post.

Up Next

  • SJ: Saturday, Sept. 18 at Austin FC | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • RSL: Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Seattle Sounders FC | 9:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

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