SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After being denied two goals on offside calls, Real Salt Lake finally broke through in the final minutes of stoppage time to win the Rocky Mountain Cup over Colorado Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, 2-0.
Joao Plata scored in extra time and Jefferson Savarino added another goal minutes later and Real Salt Lake moved up to second place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 13-10-4.
RSL, which earlier beat the Rapids 3-2 in Colorado, claims its 4th straight Rocky Mountain Cup, and 11 in the last 13 seasons.
“The Rocky Mountain Cup is a great rivalry and it was a great performance,” said RSL assistant coach Tyrone Marshall. “That’s how the Rocky Mountain Cup goes: red cards, goals get called back, and we scored two at the end of it. Kudos to us for sticking through with it.
Plata, who registered his first goal of the season, scored on a goal in the 96th minute following a handball in the penalty area by Lalas Abubakar. Plata sneaked a right-footed shot underneath keeper Tim Howard who got a piece of the ball. Three minutes later, Savarino punched it in after taking a short centering pass from Albert Rusnak to seal the win.
“I felt like if the game finishes 0-0, I feel like we lost the game,” said Rusnak. “At this point, we needed the three points more than anything. It wasn’t the prettiest performance from us as a team, although I felt like we created more chances, especially in the second half. We had some great opportunities but they didn’t go our way. A last-minute goal, overruled by VAR, and then finally the breakthrough. Sometimes you have to win games like this in this style. Those three points are huge.”
RSL next hits the road against the Portland Timbers on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.