Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT –Real Salt Lake played well but couldn’t find a way to overcome the 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals. After an amazing upset at Banc of California Stadium this last Thursday night where RSL knocked LAFC out of the playoffs Real Salt Lake takes on Sporting Kansas City in a home and away series in the Western Conference semifinals first leg tonight. This is the first time these two clubs have met in the postseason since the 2013 MLS Cup match.
Albert Rusnak booted a scorcher past Tim Melia in the 51st minute to open up the scoring for the match. The excitement was short lived when the ball was passed back to Nick Rimando and the clearance ricocheted off an SKC player that allowed Diego Rubio to even out the score at 1-1.
Coach Petke pressed the point that this is just half-time now and although the home club didn’t get the result they wanted the coach said he didn’t see anything that needed to be corrected before the second leg of the series. Sporting skipped the knockout round and RSL had a short recovery time which may have led to the sluggish play for much of the first half of play.
Real Salt Lake now has to score at least one goal in Kansas City to have a chance at winning this home-away series. With one away goal SKC has a slight advantage over the Claret and Cobalt. If the match does end in a draw 1-1 they would go to a penalty kick shootout, a 0-0 goes against us, while a tie of 2-2 or great ends the series in RSL’s favor.
One of the biggest disappointments of the evening came with a yellow card being issued to Albert Rusnak in the 26th minute. Under Playoff rules two yellow cards are enough for the player to miss the next match. It was Alberts first foul of the match and did not appear to be yellow worthy to most fans.
Real Salt Lake will be at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City Sunday November 11th for the second leg of their Western Conference semifinal match up.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Sporting Kansas City 0 1 1
RSL – Albert Rusnak – 52′
SKC – Diego Rubio – 60′
RSL – Albert Rusnak – 26′ – unsporting behavior
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 72′ – unsporting behavior
SKC – Diego Rubio – 76′ – unsporting behavior
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referee: Gianni Fachinni
Assistant Referee: Felicia Mariscal
4th Official: Alan Kelly
Video Assistant Referee: David Ganter
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon; Chinedum Onuoha; Marcelo Silva (Justen Glad, 41′); Aaron Herrera; Albert Rusnak; Sunny; Jefferson Savarino (Sebastian Saucedo, 87′); Joao Plata (Corey Baird 76′); Kyle Beckerman; Damir Kreilach
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Putna; Nick Besler; Danilo Acosta; Luis Silva
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Yohan Croizet; Ike Opara; Matt Besler; Graham Zusi; Felipe Gutierrez; Roger Espinoza; Ilie Sanchez; Daniel Salloi (Gerso Fernandes, 83′); Johnny Russell; Khiry Shetlton (Diego Rubio, 60′)
Substitutes Not Used: Jaylin Lindsey; Krisztisn Nemeth; Adreu Fontas; Gianluca Busio; Adrian Zendejas