Plata scores first goal of the year in RSL victory

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SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Joao Plata has waited all season long to score his first goal of the season. Saturday night, he finally found the back of the net.

Plata’s goal in the 36th minute was the only goal of the game, as Nick Rimando recorded his third shutout of the season and the 132nd of his storied career.

RSL created plenty of chances in the first half, putting five shots on frame, and converted when Jefferson Savarino set Plata up beautifully for the team’s third goal in the last six games.

Rimando made three saves, and was helped by defender Aaron Maund, who booted out a potential goal just before the ball crossed the goal line in the 17th minute.

Real had come into the contest losing five of its last six games, but played one of its most complete games of the season.

“We played very well as a team,” said midfielder Albert Rusnak. “It wasn’t about one or two guys, it was the whole team. There’s nothing more important than a clean sheet. That means we only have to score one goal to get three points.”

“I’m thrilled, obviously,” added head coach Mike Petke. “I thought in the first half we created a number of opportunities. Nick had to make a couple of saves, though. But overall, I think it was one of our most complete performances as well.”

Real Salt Lake has never lost to Philadelphia, going 4-0-6 against the Union.

RSL (4-8-2, 14 points) now heads out on the road for games at Houston on Wednesday and FC Dallas on Saturday.

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