Real Salt Lake Suffers Penalty Shootout Loss To Austin FC

Oct 16, 2022, 4:09 PM


Alexander Ring of Austin FC shields Jasper Löffelsend of Real Salt Lake at Q2 Stadium.

AUSTIN – Real Salt Lake loses to Austin FC in a penalty shootout to conclude its 2022 MLS season despite being up 2-0 15 minutes into the game.

Real Salt Lake survived 76 minutes of playing down a man before the referee blew his final whistle and the game was to be decided in a penalty shootout.

Manager Pablo Mastroeni went into the fixture unchanged from a week ago following the dominant 3-1 win on Decision Day against Portland.

Scordova Fires Early

Remarkably, Real Salt Lake began with all of the attacking play. Sergio Córdova found the game’s opening goal three minutes into the fixture after Andrew Brody’s cross found the forehead of Córdova who was good enough to put the back in the back of the net.

Twelve minutes later and RSL doubled their lead when the referee granted a penalty following a handball after a VAR check. Córdova replaced Ruiz who had taken the only other two previous penalties this year and calmly slotted home the game’s second goal.

A sold-out Q2 Stadium, that was bouncing before kickoff, was still loud but the two early away goals certainly rattled the home crowd.

As expected, Austin found their first goal of the fixture when Sebastián Driussi found a pocket of space following a cross and glanced his shot into the far corner of the net.

At the half, Real Salt Lake held the advantage which prompted Austin FC and manager Josh Wolff to make three halftime substitutions.

The game then changed in the 52nd minute when Rubio Rubin went to the ground in an attempt to win a 50/50 ball against Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver and was consequently shown his second yellow card.

Real Salt Lake was down to 10 men.

Mastroeni was then forced to alter the shape of the team by bringing on Nick Besler and Jasper Löffelsend to create a 5-3-1. Austin dominated possession and the scoring opportunities but failed to capitalize on their chances in front of goal.

Mastroeni then brought on Tate Schmitt and Bode Hidalgo in the 74th minute for Jefferson Savarino and Bryan Oviedo.

Last Minute Equalizer

Remarkably, Besler committed a foul in the 94th minute and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time. Driussi stepped up to the spot and sent MacMath the wrong way to bring the score back to level with just minutes remaining.

The 21,000 fans in attendance were granted free football as the two sides settled for extra time.

However, it was all one-way traffic as Austin dominated the chances in front of the goal given their man advantage.

Austin FC came within inches of scoring in the second half of extra time when a headed attempt ricocheted off the far post and back into the area only to be cleared by the Real Salt Lake defense.

Then, minutes later Driussi thought he had scored a hattrick but the assistant raised his flag as Moussa Djitté, who was involved in the play, was offside.

Somehow the score remained level and seemed destined to be headed for a penalty shootout.

Real Salt Lake survived 76 minutes of playing down a man before the referee blew his final whistle and the game was to be decided in a penalty shootout.

Austin FC concluded the 120 minutes having 37 shots to Real Salt Lake’s 11 while dominating 69% of the possession.

Penalty Shootout

Marcelo Silva scored the first penalty for RSL sneaking the ball under Stuver’s mid-section.

Driussi then leveled the scoreline at 1-1.

Andrew Brody was denied by Stuver diving to his right.

Diego Fagúndez gave the visitors the 2-1 lead when he beat MacMath with ease sending him the wrong way.

Braian Ojeda was denied by the right glove of Stuver and the crossbar.

Emiliano Rigoni increased the host’s advantage to two goals.

Tate Schmitt then skied his must-make attempt and Real Salt Lake’s season was over.

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Real Salt Lake Suffers Penalty Shootout Loss To Austin FC