REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake Dominates Austin FC To Retain Top Spot In West

Jun 1, 2024, 9:49 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2024, 7:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITYReal Salt Lake played arguably its best game of the season in a 5-1 beatdown of Austin FC at America First Field on Saturday.

Chicho Arango and Anderson Julio both scored braces in the first half in what was a dominant showing on both sides of the ball for the top team in the West.

The Utah-based club is now unbeaten in its last 13 matches in MLS play.

RSL Dominates Austin FC Behind Huge First Half

The opening ten minutes of the match was dominated by Real Salt Lake. With over 80 percent time of possession, it seemed like only a matter of time until RSL took an early lead.

Diego Luna took the first shot of the game in the 10th minute and immediately forced Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver to make a play.

Even though RSL was playing well to start, Austin added to the danger by being careless with the ball in their own half.

In the 16th minute, Real took advantage of another Austin mistake.

Arango had the ball at the midfield line and noticed Stuver cheating up. The MLS MVP candidate took a literal long shot and perfectly placed it over Stuver’s head.

RELATED: Chicho Arango Opens Scoring For Real Salt Lake From Midfield

Even on sunny days in June, when it rains, it pours.

In the 24th minute, Braian Ojeda gave Julio a perfect through ball in the box and he doubled RSL’s lead by sneaking a shot into the right side of the goal.

Less than ten minutes later, he did it again.

Andres Gomez, Ojeda, and Arango all got a touch in before Gomez gave Julio an easy tap-in right in front of the net.

RELATED: Anderson Julio Records First-Half Brace Against Austin FC

Real wasn’t satisfied with the three-goal lead in the first 45′.

They took three more shots leading up to the half. Two were off the mark and the third was saved.

In the 45+5′, Arango did it again.

Andrew Brody gave Arango a perfect cross on the left side of the box and he rose up to bang in a header.

The shot went right at Stuver but it had so much heat that it bounced off of his hands and across the line.

RELATED: Chicho Arango Scores Brace With Header Goal Before Halftime

Real took the four-goal lead into the halftime break.

Understandably, the second half played out much slower than the first.

RSL opened the half with a group of substitutions. The fresh guys on the pitch took a minute to get warm which allowed Austin to get their feet under them.

After Austin FC got on the board in the 64th minute, the play went to VAR review.

It was determined that there was an Austin handball in the box before the breakaway that led to the score.

An unlucky break for Austin turned their first goal into a penalty kick for RSL.

Arango stepped up to the spot and had no trouble as he scored a hat trick for the second time this season.

RELATED: Chicho Arango Buries Penalty Kick For Hat Trick Against Austin FC

Looking for a season-high four goals, Arango took two more shots before getting subbed out in the 79th minute.

Real ended the game with six of their 11 starters on the field. Zavier Gozo got back on the pitch for the first time since April.

In the 91st minute, Austin FC slashed any hopes of a shutout with a penalty kick goal.

Shutout or not, the damage had already been done.

Real Salt Lake improves to 9-2-6 with the convincing 5-1 win over Austin FC at home.

How To Watch Real Salt Lake

All Major League Soccer games are broadcasted on Apple TV with MLS Season Pass.

All Real Salt Lake English-language radio coverage for the 2024 season and beyond will be carried on various KSL radio signals. KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM / 1160 AM) are both stations under the Bonneville International umbrella.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Real Salt Lake Dominates Austin FC To Retain Top Spot In West