Real Salt Lake wasn’t going to take any chances against the Charleston Battery.
Having already seen Charleston upset a Major League Soccer opponent during the U.S. Open Cup, Real Salt Lake played with most of its starters Wednesday night against the Battery.
After a shaky opening half, Real Salt Lake scored five unanswered goals, including two from
striker Devon Sandoval, to beat Charleston, 5-2, in overtime in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy UT.
Salt Lake will take on the Carolina RailHawks, a 3-1 winner of MLS’ Chivas USA Wednesday night, on June 26 in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The Battery had already beaten MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup last month.
“Salt Lake put their top players out and honestly that’s a compliment to us,” said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. “They’re a very good side and they have plenty of quality on their roster. They were able to bring a couple of guys off the bench that made a real difference in the second half and overtime.”
Playing at more than 4,300-feet above sea level took its toll on the Battery, especially in the second half.
“They like to possess the ball and wear you down,” Anhaeuser said. “That’s exactly what happened to us. The altitude really began to affect our legs as the game went on.”
The Battery grabbed a 1-0 lead on Dane Kelly’s goal in the 16th minute. Defender John Wilson played a nice through ball to Kelly on the left flank. Kelly took a couple of dribbles and blasted a shot past Salt Lake keeper Josh Saunders for the score from just inside the 18-yard box.
Two minutes later, the Battery grabbed a 2-0 advantage on Nicki Patterson’s goal. Charleston midfielder Quinton Griffith blasted a shot that ricocheted off the right post. The ball bounced onto the right foot of Paterson, who standing all by himself at the top of the 18-yard box. Paterson easily put the ball into the open net for the score.
Real Salt Lake closed to gap to 2-1 on Sandoval’s header off a cross from Tony Beltran in the 66th minute that beat Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper for the score.
Salt Lake tied the game at 2-2 on Joa Plata’s penalty kick in the 79th minute.
Salt Lake was awarded a free kick from 22 yards out just before the end of regulation. But Javier Morales’ attempt was blocked by the Battery defensive wall.
Sandoval added his second goal seven minutes into the first overtime period to give Salt Lake a 3-2 lead.
Khari Stephenson ripped a shot from about 25 yards out that beat Cooper to give Salt Lake up 4-2 just before the end of the first overtime period
Morales scored on a penalty kick for the final margin of victory.
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