Sergio Córdova Buries PK, Helps RSL Extend Lead Over Austin
Austin hosted RSL for a postseason-opening match at Q2 Stadium in Texas’ capital city on Sunday, October 16.
During the 15th minute of action and after a short VAR review, Real Salt Lake was awarded a penalty kick thanks to a hand ball by the home club. Córdova, who scored a goal during the third minute of play, step up to the spot to try and make it a 2-0 lead for RSL.
Córdova drilled the ball into the left corner of the goal as Austin’s Brad Stuver dove toward the far post and the opposite direction of the sailing soccer ball.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) October 16, 2022
The Real Salt Lake forward entered the match with nine goals, two assists, 59 shots, and 31 shots on target in 33 matches this season.
RSL’s match against Austin is televised on ABC.
Real Salt Lake is headed for Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, for their MLS playoff opening round fixture against Austin FC.
The event will mark the first playoff game in the history of Austin FC, following their introduction to Major League Soccer in 2021. Last year, they failed to qualify for the postseason.
Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, has qualified for the playoffs in four of its previous five seasons. It is the second consecutive year that RSL cemented its playoff position on the final day of the regular season.
Much like last year, if RSL is to advance to the Western Conference Final, they will be tasked with playing every playoff game on the road due and it will start in Austin.
Q2 Stadium has quickly transformed into one of the most hostile environments in MLS. The fanbase is loud, and the city takes great pride in supporting its local soccer club.
— Tom Hackett (@TomCantHackett) October 16, 2022
Interestingly, it was not long ago that Real Salt Lake last visited Q2 Stadium. On September 14, RSL lost 3-0 to Austin following a second-half hattrick to substitute Moussa Djitté. Prior to the introduction of Djitté, RSL dominated the contest but failed to capitalize on opportunities created in front of goal.
Furthermore, Djitté has only scored a total of 4 goals from his 17 appearances in 2022.
Real Salt Lake enters the game in promising form following a 1-1 draw on the road against LA Galaxy before dominating Portland in the final game of the season at hand in a game that manager Pablo Mastroeni described as the “most complete team performance of the year to date.”
Austin, on the other hand, has not won a game since RSL last visited Q2 Stadium on September 14. They drew to Colorado and Nashville and home and lost 2-0 on the road against Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake will be without their captain Damir Kreilach who has returned to training for the first time since undergoing back surgery in June. Unfortunately, Kreilach will not be available to play against Austin as he continues to gain strength and trust in his body.
Aaron Herrera will also likely not be available following a knock to his calf against the Galaxy two weeks ago. Herrera then suffered another knock to the same calf in the lead-up to the fixture against Portland and has not been available since. He has not trained with the group at all this week.
Bobby Wood remains out following abductor surgery months ago. Wood will likely not return to the pitch this season.
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