SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, July 19, 2016) – The first visit from a European club to face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium since the stadium’s opening in 2008 was every bit the entertaining match it promised to be. From first kick to final whistle, the 14,266 in attendance had something to keep the pulses racing as RSL fell 2-1 to FC Internazionale from Italy on a stoppage-time goal by Stevan Jovetic.
Tuesday night’s international friendly saw MF Jordan Allen sparkle in the No. 10 role, scoring RSL’s lone goal in the 18th minute. Real Monarchs DF Chris Schuler made his first appearance in an RSL uniform since July 14, 2015, when he appeared as one of eight Monarchs players on the roster for the exhibition. And in the end, Jovetic had three cracks at a game-winner and finished off the night in spectacular form with a backheel goal in the 92nd minute for the 2-1 final.
In the 17th minute, DF Chris Wingert got into the attack and uncorked a shot from 20 yards out that forced Samir Handanovic into a tough save. Off the rebound, Allen and Handanovic collided and the ball was cleared for an RSL throw.
Moments later, FW Joao Plata sent a corner kick into the box and it skipped off of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Allen was there to poke it into the net for a 1-0 RSL lead in the 18th minute.
Then a stunning goal off an Inter corner kick equalized in the 42nd minute. Caner Erkin sent a corner kick in from the left side and the ball drifted beyond the far post for Danilo D’Ambrosio. He spun a left-footed, side-winding shot that rocketed toward the net for the score to make it 1-1.
Through more substitutions on both sides, Inter nearly broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute. Axel Bakayoko fielded a cross from the left side and played it back to Jovetic, who rifled a shot toward the near post, but skipped it just wide for a goal kick on the first of three chances he had in the final 20 minutes.
Jovetic had a chance at redemption on a nearly identical play one minute later.
Bakayoko got in behind the defense up the right side and pulled GK Lalo Fernandez off his line. Bakayoko played the ball back for Jovetic, who shot for the far post … and hit the woodwork. Leaving the score at 1-1 while he threw his hands in the air in frustration.
Frustration turned to relief for Jovetic in the 92nd minute, though.
On a long ball played over the top, Jovetic took a touch to his right in the box. With just Fernandez to beat, but with his back to goal to chase down the second ball, Jovetic surprised the RSL keeper with a backheel that skipped between his legs and into the net for a remarkable exclamation point on the match for a 2-1 win for Inter.
GAME NOTES – RSLvINT
– This marked the first European club to face Real Salt Lake in a friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium since the building opened in 2008. Previously, RSL had faced Real Madrid and Everton at Rice Eccles Stadium.
– RSL signed temporary contracts with eight players from Real Monarchs SLC of the USL, bringing in DF Max Lachowecki, DF Emilio Orozco, DF Tyler Arnone, DF Chris Schuler, MF Alec Sundly, MF Andrew Brody, MF Ricardo Velazco and FW Kevaughn Frater. Schuler, Brody, Velazco and Frater all appeared in the match.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-2 FC INTERNAZIONALE
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2016
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
FC Internazionale 1 1 2
RSL: Jordan Allen 18’
INT: Danilo D’Ambrosio (Caner Erkin) 42’
INT: Stevan Jovetic 92+’
RSL: Phanuel Kavita (Caution; Foul) 53’
INT: Yuto Nagatomo (Caution; Foul) 68’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez 62’); Tony Beltran (Boyd Okwuonu 31’), Jamison Olave (Chris Schuler 58’), Justen Glad (Phanuel Kavita 31’), Chris Wingert (Demar Phillips 62’); Kyle Beckerman (Danilo Acosta 31’), John Stertzer (Luke Mulholland 62’); Juan Manuel Martinez (Omar Holness 31’), Jordan Allen (Andrew Brody 46’), Joao Plata (Ricardo Velazco 31’, Kevaughn Frater 77’); Yura Movsisyan (Olmes Garcia 31’).
Substitutes not used: Tyler Arnone, Max Lachowecki, Aaron Maund, Emilio Orozco, Alec Sundly.
Inter (4-4-2): Samir Handanovic (Juan Pablo Carrizo 58’); Cristian Ansaldi (Senna Miangue 58’), Joao Miranda (Yuto Nagatomo 46’), Andrea Ranocchia, Danilo D’Amrosio; Jonathan Biabiany (Loris Zonta 46’), Filipe Melo (Axel Bakayoko 68’), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Assane Gnoukouri 58’, Fabio Della Giovanna 82’), Caner Erkin (Daniel Bessa 46’); Mauro Icardi (Stevan Jovetic 46’), Rodrigo Palacio (Andrea Pinamonti 77’).
Substitutes not used: Tommaso Berni, Michele Di Gregorio.
Referee: Tyler Ploeger
Assistant Referees: TJ Zablocki, Brandon Major
Fourth Official: Brad Jensen
Weather: Partly cloudy and 90