TUCSON, Ariz. — Real Salt Lake scored two goals in the final three minutes to beat the New England Revolution 3-2 in preseason action on Wednesday night.
RSL is in second place in the Desert Diamond Cup standings with four points. The Claret-and-Cobalt will advance to Saturday's final if the New York Red Bulls draw or lose to Seattle Sounders FC in the late game on Wednesday night. RSL could also advance if New York beats Seattle, pending a series of goal difference and goals scored tiebreakers.
RSL, with a reserve-laden starting lineup, went ahead in the 22nd minute. Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez created the chance, firing a long-range shot that New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth failed to hold. RSL rookie striker Devon Sandoval pounced on the rebound, firing into an empty net from 8 yards out.
RSL continued attacking after taking the lead, getting good looks at goal in the 35th and 37th minutes. Fullback Carlos Salcedo created the first opportunity, getting forward from his center back position to hit a teasing cross across the face of goal that just missed connecting with a pair of RSL players. Velasquez had the second chance, pulling a nifty give-and-go with Sandoval at the top of the area before firing a left-footed shot just wide of the left post from the right side of the box.
RSL head coach Jason Kreis made a pair of changes at the break, bringing on forwards Olmes Garcia — making his RSL debut — and Joao Plata for Sandoval and David Viana.
The Revolution started the second half brightly, scoring goals in the 50th and 57th minutes to take a 2-1 lead on scores by Diego Fagundez and A.J. Soares.
Real Salt Lake switched out its entire team in the 69th minute, bringing on first-teamers at every position. The changes paid off in the match's final minutes, when RSL scored a pair of goals to down New England 3-2.
RSL striker Alvaro Saborio scored the equalizer in the 88th minute. The Costa Rican international collected a ball on the right edge of the area, cutting it back all the way to the top of the box before rifling a powerful left-footed shot into the top-left corner.
RSL trialist striker Khari Stephenson netted the winner in stoppage time. Ned Grabavoy started the play, playing a ball from the right edge of the area to Stephenson at the top of the arc. The Jamaican international took a touch and fired a shot that took a deflection and found the back of the net. Stephenson's shot was the last kick of the game.