The Week 19 matchup at Rio Tinto Stadium between Real Salt Lake and the Philadelphia Union turned into the Jefferson Savarino show, as the winger scored twice and assisted once to power the home side to a 4-0 win.
The Venezuelan first found net in the 23rd minute after latching onto an Aaron Herrera ball over the top. With a touch to control and a left-footed volley, Savarino made it 1-0 in slamming past Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Savarino then found his second goal in the 71st minute, capitalizing on some confusion from the Union in midfield. After a pass from Kyle Beckerman and touch forward, the 22-year-old rifled home to the far post.
Adding insult to injury, Savarino then set up an Albert Rusnak goal in the 81st minute after a poor turnover from Union outside back Raymon Gaddis. Savarino picked Gaddis’ pocket and heel-flicked for Rusnak, who finished with conviction from atop the 18-yard box.
If that wasn’t enough, Damir Kreilach added RSL's fourth and final strike in the 89th minute after being slipped through by Everton Luiz. The goal was originally called back for offside, though Video Review judged that it was a proper finish.
Philadelphia didn’t register a single shot on target, but they thought debutant Andrew Wooten scored on his first touch in MLS. However, Video Review ruled in the 78th minute that the ball traveled past the end line and out of play prior to Wooten’s volley, further souring the Union’s trip.
- 23' – RSL – Jefferson Savarino | WATCH
- 71' – RSL – Jefferson Savarino | WATCH
- 81' – RSL – Albert Rusnak | WATCH
- 89' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH
- BIG PICTURE: After a gut-wrenching loss at the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, RSL secured a bounce-back win to push up the Western Conference standings. Meanwhile, the Union have dropped to 1W-2L-2D across their last five matches to see their grip atop the Eastern Conference standings loosen.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: RSL managed four quality finishes, so it’s hard to have a wrong answer here. Still, Savarino’s 71st-minute rocket was one for the highlight reels. The shot was struck with enough ferocity to challenge almost any goalkeeper.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jefferson Savarino, who has recently been linked to several Premier League clubs, put in a memorable performance with the assist and two goals. It was his best showing in RSL colors since scoring three goals and dishing out three helpers across a two-game stretch in the summer of 2018.