SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Sergio Cordova and Jefferson Savarino each scored a first-half goal to lead Real Salt Lake to a 3-0 victory over Minnesota United FC on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake (11-8-9, 42 points) was winless in its previous three home matches before dominating the Loons for 90 minutes. This is just the Utah club’s third win over Minnesota in 13 MLS meetings. Zac MacMath earned his ninth clean sheet of the season.
“Down the stretch, the goal for our group is pretty basic–you want to win your home games and you want to get results on the road, whatever they look like,” said head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “We’ve piggybacked this result on top of three good results, and that, for me, is what really builds the chemistry and the belief. At this point of the season, it couldn’t come at a better time.”
Minnesota (13-10-5, 44 points) had a three-match winning streak snapped with the loss. The Loons finished a match without scoring a goal for the first time in three months.
Real Salt Lake struck first on Cordova’s goal in the 6th minute. Cordova settled a popped-up ball, split a pair of defenders outside the top of the 6-yard box and threaded a right-footed shot past Dayne St. Clair, burying the ball past the right post. It was his eighth goal of the season.
“Confidence is huge for any player no matter where you are on the field,” Cordova said. “Thanks to God, everything has been going well and I’ve been picking up more confidence. Personally, it’s helped me a ton and will help any player on the field do better. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep going. I’ve just had to stay calm and stay humble throughout it all.”
Savarino extended the lead to 2-0 in the 23rd minute. He slid forward into the 6-yard box and blasted a deflected cross past St. Clair’s outstretched hand with his left foot, coming away with his sixth goal of the season.
“It’s about the communication both on and off the field that has really helped us a lot,” Savarino said. “The nice thing is that we’re both humble enough to pass each other the ball on the field. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do that and continue to improve as the season goes on and strengthen that connection even more.”
Minnesota did not generate a single shot before halftime. RSL held a 6-0 advantage in total shots during the first 45 minutes — putting three balls on frame.
Anderson Julio added a third goal for Salt Lake in the 79th minute. Julio tracked down a long through ball from Andrew Brody and beat backup goalkeeper Tyler Miller on a one-vs-one challenge. He blasted a right-footer from the right side of the box into an unguarded net.
Real Salt Lake finished the match with a 12-4 advantage in total shots. RSL led 7-0 in shots on goal.
RSL plays its third game in eight days when it travels to LAFC Sunday night.