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Sporting KC hold on for 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake

Erik Thommy and Johnny Russell each scored first-half goals to lift visiting Sporting Kansas City to a 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday night.

Kansas City (11-14-8, 41 points) earned just its second victory in 11 regular season road matches against Salt Lake dating to 2015. SKC sits just a point behind Dallas for the final wild card play-in spot in the Western Conference with one match remaining.

Salt Lake (13-12-7, 46 points) played with only 10 players for virtually the entire match. The Utah club had a two-match winning streak snapped and hasn’t yet won three consecutive matches this season. RSL lost for the seventh time in 17 regular season home matches, finishing with a losing record (6-7-4) in their home stadium.

Brayan Vera and Jefferson Savarino each scored late goals to spark an RSL rally.

Salt Lake went down a man just 37 seconds into the match when Justen Glad was sent off with a red card. Kansas City wasted no time capitalizing on having a one-man advantage.

Thommy put SKC on the board in the 4th minute when he threaded a free kick through a gap in Salt Lake’s four-man defensive wall. Russell extended the lead in the 29th minute. He redirected a pass from Logan Ndenbe near the center of the box and threaded the ball inside the right post.

Kansas City dominated possession before halftime, possessing the ball 66 percent of the time and totaling 304 passes. It paid off with multiple opportunities to create scoring chances. SKC held a 7-1 advantage in total shots during the first half. They put four of those balls on frame.

Alan Pulido added an insurance goal in the 78th minute. MacMath denied his initial shot off a penalty kick. Pulido collected the rebound and pooched it over the outstretched goalkeeper’s shoulder.

Vera finally pulled one back for Salt Lake with his goal in the 81st minute. He blasted home a left-footer from deep outside the box.

Savarino narrowed the deficit again in the 89th minute. He won a 50-50 long ball and flicked it home just outside the top of the 6-yard box.

–Field Level Media

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