SANDY, Utah — A dominant 3-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday night saw Real Salt Lake advance to the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup for the first time in franchise history. Goals from Tony Beltran, Chris Wingert and Álvaro Saborío proved the difference against the NASL side at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Running out the same lineup with only one change — goalkeeper Josh Saunders started in place of Nick Rimando — that beat the Seattle Sounders last Saturday, RSL dominated from start to finish.
The RailHawks seemed timid in the opening half-hour, frequently dropping deep and putting all 11 men behind the ball.
With RSL controlling possession it was wave after wave of pressure, and Beltran eventually pushed up to make the most of the space Carolina offered. The fullback hit a right-footed blast from 25 yards out, the second goal of his career, off a pass from Saborío to open the scoring late in the first half.
The goal forced Carolina to come out of their shell some, but that just opened up the game for the hosts. The 51st minute saw another rarity: Wingert also knotched his second career goal after pushing high into the attack. The veteran left back took a right-footed shot from distance that deflected off a Carolina defender, wrong-footing 'keeper Akira Fitzgerald for the two-goal lead.
Saborío added a third goal in the 85th minute on a header assisted by Olmes García, though by that time the result was academic. RSL clamped down defensively to preserve the shutout.
With the win, Real Salt Lake advance to the semifinals of the US Open Cup where they will host the Portland Timbers — 3-2 winners over Dallas Wednesday night — on Aug. 7.