RSL advances in U.S. Open Cup play

Jun 12 2013 - 10:50pm

Images

Trent Nelson/The Associated Press
Real Salt Lake’s Devon Sandoval eyes the ball against Charleston Battery in their U.S. Open Cup soccer match Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL overwhelmed Charleston en route to a 5-2 victory.
Trent Nelson/The Associated Press
Real Salt Lake’s Devon Sandoval eyes the ball against Charleston Battery in their U.S. Open Cup soccer match Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL overwhelmed Charleston en route to a 5-2 victory.

SANDY -- Sitting behind the eight-ball with less than an half-hour remaining in its U.S. Open Cup run, Real Salt Lake went all-in.

A double substitution in the 62nd minute, including pulling defender Aaron Maund in favor of speedy forward Joao Plata to give added numbers to the attack, ignited the Claret-and-Cobalt to a ferocious rally to send the match into extra time, where Salt Lake sealed a 5-2 victory over the Charleston Battery at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The result sends Real sailing into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, where it will host the Carolina RailHawks at 7:30 p.m. June 26.

Salt Lake trailed 2-0 in the opening half, suffering through a pair of defensively lapses in the 16th and 18th minutes, despite easily controlling the middle of the field.

Real struggled through much of the opening hour to link its midfield and front line successfully, but the double sub - which also included powerful midfielder Khari Stephenson for Sebastian Velasquez - rapidly and decisively turned the tide.

Salt Lake recorded 22 of its 30 shots in the match following that substitution, scoring five times in the final 27 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime.

Rookie forward Devon Sandoval opened up RSL's scoring account on the night, hitting a precision header off of defender Tony Beltran's cross from the right corner in the 66th minute.Plata leveled the match on a penalty in the 79th after he was taken down deep in the box.

Real had five more chances, including one at the death to take the match in regulation, but instead headed to extra time for the second straight Open Cup match.

Much like it had done in its extra time session against Atlanta during its third round match, Salt Lake's offensive clicked early in the added minutes.

Sandoval tallied his second header of the night, this time coming on the end of a cross from the left side by Plata in the 97th minute, before Stephenson all but killed off the match with a blistering rocket from 24 yards out to make it 4-2. It's the third time in four matches across all competitions that Stephenson has scored a powerful shot from distance.

Morales had the assist on Stephenson's goal and then had a tally of his own on a penalty after Sandoval was fouled in the box.

 

From Around the Web

  +