With the image of Sporting KC's memorable 97th minute winner the last time they visited Rio Tinto Stadium in 2013, being on the receiving end of a stoppage-time winner stung that much more.
Sporting KC fell 2-1 Sunday night to Real Salt Lake, snapping their seven-game unbeaten run in MLS play and gave them their third loss of the year. Real Salt Lake ended a three-game winless streak to get back on a winning track.
The opening minutes were fast and furious as four different players picked up yellow cards in the first twenty minutes. Seven players would be awarded with cards by the end of the night.
Amidst the flurry of fouls and cards, Real Salt Lake managed to get themselves on the board. Javier Morales sent in a nice cross that found an unmarked Sebastian Jaime near the back post, who headed it in for his first ever MLS goal. This 15th minute score gave the home side an early advantage and they were dangerous on set pieces all night long.
Sporting KC were still generating a decent attack on their own and were rewarded in the 30th minute. Benny Feilhaber sent in a lovely through ball down the center of the field, splitting the Real Salt Lake defense, and finding Dom Dwyer who finished with his weak foot for his fifth of the year. This equalizer carried the teams through to the halftime break scoreline-wise.
After a first half where Sporting KC were all over the place, they settled down in the second half and managed to control the tempo a bit more. Both teams were still attacking well and both goalkeepers came up with big saves. Nick Rimando parried away an open header by Dom Dwyer in the 64th minute that required extremely quick reflexes. On the other end, Tim Melia was there with a one-handed save in stoppage time to keep the match level until the eventual winner for Real Salt Lake.
In the 93rd minute, Olmes Garcia brought the ball into the box on the side and fired a shot towards goal. Kevin Ellis stuck out his foot hoping to deflect it outwards but it instead bounced up, out of the reach of Melia, and into the net for the stoppage-time winner. MLS credited Garcia with the goal.
With little time left, Sporting KC could not muster up anything to counter and their unbeaten streak was snapped. They return to action June 27 against the Colorado Rapids.