Joao Plata converted a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time as host Real Salt Lake posted a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday in Sandy, Utah.
Lalas Abubakar’s hand ball in the penalty area set the stage for Plata, who sent the ball just inside the left post to snap a scoreless draw in the 96th minute.
Jefferson Savarino converted from in close three minutes later for Real Salt Lake (13-10-4, 43 points), which captured the Rocky Mountain Cup for the fourth consecutive year and 11th time in 13 seasons.
Nick Rimando had five saves as Real Salt Lake improved to 4-0-1 in the last five overall meetings with the Rapids (7-14-6, 27 points) and 12-0-5 in its last 17 home matches versus Colorado.
Tim Howard made four saves in his return from a calf injury for the reeling Rapids, who fell to 1-8-4 on the road this season.
Prior to the late scoring frenzy, Rimando preserved a scoreless draw with a pair of point-blank saves in succession in the 27th minute.
Tommy Smith’s header from the right side of the six-yard box off Jack Price’s cross was thwarted by Rimando, who then extended his left arm to bat down Kei Kamara’s bid from close range. Abubakar’s attempt to convert from in close was blocked by Real Salt Lake defenders.
Rimando wasn’t done, as he held his ground and stopped Sam Nicholson from the right side of the box in the 54th minute.
Real Salt Lake’s Albert Rusnak nearly converted Brooks Lennon’s cross in the 70th minute, but his shot from the left side of the box was denied by Howard.
Smith also had another point-blank opportunity in the 12th minute, but his header off Price’s cross sailed wide of the net.
Colorado had all six of the match’s corner kicks.
–Field Level Media