Real Salt Lake proved to be kings of penalty shootouts once again, using the spot-kick decider to advance in U.S. Open qualifying versus the San Jose Earthquakes after a 3-3 draw deadlocked their contest.
The Utah squad jumpe out to a lead just seven minutes in when forward Robbie Findley slotted home past ‘Quakes GK Jon Busch after the RSL striker alertly pounced on a poor pass in the San Jose defensive third. The visitors then appeared to seize complete control of the result at the hour mark, when midfielder Nelson Gonzalez’s 22-yard free kick tally gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
The Earthquakes didn't give up, however, pulling one back through defender Chris Leitch in the 68th minute.
It was forward Arturo Alvarez who provided a dramatic equalizer with two minutes remaining in regulation to even things up at 2-2, sending the match into 30 minutes of added extra time.
San Jose rookie Justin Morrow would give the home side its first lead of the night in the 103rd minute, just sneaking a shot past RSL ‘keeper Kyle Reynish, but Real Salt Lake clawed back when defender Nat Borchers’ header off a cross from fellow defender Robbie Russell in the 118th minute, pushed the match to the shootout.
Alarez missed his opening kick for San Jose, and when all five shooters for Real Salt Lake converted, they claimed the victory.
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