Sporting KC dispatches Real Salt Lake to advance in MLS playoffs

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Sporting KC did the necessary business early as they stormed Real Salt Lake 4-2 for a 5-3 aggregate victory, advancing Sporting KC to the Western Conference finals against Portland.

With a 1-1 aggregate scoreline from the first leg in Salt Lake City, Sporting KC came back home and scored twice in the opening 20 minutes to leave no doubt. Daniel Salloi picked up a double to lead the way, with Diego Rubio and Ilie Sanchez also on the scoresheet.

Rubio was the first to the back of the net, scoring 14 minutes in on an unselfish feed right in front of net by Felipe Gutierrez who probably could have scored himself. Next was Salloi five minutes later as Gutierrez sprung him free on net with a pinpoint through-ball.

After the break, Sebastian Saucedo and Damir Kreilach helped keep the game interesting as they pulled RSL back to within a goal each time, but Sanchez dispatched a Penenka penalty on 67 minutes and Salloi added the icing on the cake seven minutes deep into added time with a great goal after stealing a Brooks Lennon back-pass and touching expertly past Nick Rimando to give him an open net.

The game featured 35 combined shots between both teams, with 14 of those on target. Sporting KC will now take on Portland in the Western Conference finals after the Timbers advanced past Cascadia rivals Seattle on penalties back on Friday.