AUSTIN (ABC4 Sports) – After not scoring a single goal all season long, Rubio Rubin found the back of the net twice Saturday night, as Real Salt Lake defeated Austin FC, 2-1.
While Rubin recorded a brace, 18-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Beavers made several key stops in the final minutes as RSL held on to win a match that was delayed near halftime for two hours because of weather.
Real Salt Lake (5-7-4, 19 points) won for just the second time in their past eight matches and beat Austin on the road for the first time ever.
Beavers, making his third league start in his second season in MLS, recorded four saves.
Real Salt Lake struck early as Rubin headed a crossing pass from Jasper Loffelsend in the 15th minute into the bottom right corner of the net past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Rubin outleapt an Austin defender for the perfect pass toward the goalmouth and made short work of his opportunity for his first goal since October 9, 2022.
Austin (5-7-4, 19 points) had a chance to tie the match two minutes later when Diego Fagundez’s shot was stopped by Beavers at the bottom right corner.
Bryan Oviedo tried to add to the RSL lead in the 31st minute, but Stuver leapt to save the shot from outside in the top left corner. Austin then pushed for the equalizer in the 38th minute when Emiliano Rigoni was turned away by Beavers on a shot low and to the right.
The match was halted in the 40th minute for more than two hours because of lightning in the area. When it resumed, the final five minutes of the first half were completed and a truncated halftime was held.
Both teams had several good chances to score in the first 25 minutes of the second half. Julio Cascante and Sebastian Driussi had shots for Austin in the 58th and 69th minute, respectively, while Real Salt Lake’s Loffelsend and Brayan Vera produced real threats in the 63 and 64th minute, respectively.
Rubin clinched the win in the 81st minute, waiting in the center of the box for a pass from the far post by Maikel Chang.
Austin cut the lead in half on Cascante’s goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.
Real Salt Lake next hosts the L.A. Galaxy Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. RSL will then return to MLS play next Saturday at home against New York City FC.