SANDY — When the first leg of Real Salt Lake’s Western Conference semifinal series with Seattle ended in a scoreless draw late Friday night, it turned the series into a one-match, winner-take-all affair.
That decisive second leg arrives tonight when the two sides renew their rivalry under the lights at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., a change announced on Tuesday after the match was picked up for national broadcast by the NBC Sports Network.
“It feels good for sure (to get a result in Seattle),” Real midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. “It’s a really difficult place to play. They’re a really good team and they have been for the past couple of years. We’ve been battling with them in the playoffs it seems almost every year.
“They’re well coached with good players so we knew it was going to be difficult coming into this,” he said.
“We got a result we wanted. We kept it zero and going back to our home turf and I think it is going to be another difficult game.
“Nothing is over by any means and I think Thursday is going to be another test for us for 90 minutes, maybe plus,” Grabavoy said.
The winner of Thursday’s match will move on to face the winner of San Jose and Los Angeles in the Western Conference final.
The Earthquakes lead that series 1-0 after a stoppage time goal during their road leg at the Home Depot Center.
Should neither team come up with the winner during the 90 minutes of regulation time, a 30-minute extra time period will be added. That additional time will not be golden goal.
If the match remains tied at the end of extra time, the series will be decided on penalty kicks.
“We’re going to handle it the same way we try to handle every game, which is to try to be on the front foot,” Kreis said about Thursday’s second leg.
“We’re at home, obviously we know we need to win to move on, and we’ll throw everything at it, I’m quite certain of it.”