Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City Report Card
RSL came into Saturday's game on one of the most impressive unbeaten streaks in club history and certainly in the league this season.
But Kansas City came into Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night on one of its own: a five-game streak that found them at the top of the Eastern Conference.
With Kansas City's notorious high-risk, high-reward style of play, Jason Kreis started speedsters Robbie Findley and Joao Plata up top, but in the end it wasn't their speed but their athleticism that made the difference.
Joao Plata's unending energy and ability to break down the Kansas City defense kept RSL, on the balance, in charge of possession in KC's final third, but it was Robbie Findley's athleticism in the 56th minute that allowed him to make a tough adjustment in the air to back out of the goal-mouth and head a Jimmy Nielsen miss into the net for RSL's go-ahead goal.
Shortly thereafter Chris Wingert was sent off with a second yellow card and moments later Kansas City pulled equal with a beautiful Soony Saad bicycle kick off a missed Lovel Palmer clearance.
RSL seemed destined to escape with a tie, even with a man down, but a Kansas City corner kick in the 97th minute (after 5 minutes of stoppage time was announced) found KC defender Ike Opara wide open without an extra defender in the box, and Sporting KC dashed RSL's hopes of adding a 12th game to their unbeaten streak.
Chris Higbee is the General Manager of DeseretNews.com.
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