Diego Luna, Real Salt Lake pour it on in victory vs. Atlanta United

League: MLS

Posted on: 07 Jul, 2024 at 04:05 AM

Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Luna collected a goal and three assists as Real Salt Lake recorded a 5-2 win over Atlanta United on Saturday in Sandy, Utah.

Salt Lake is 11-1-6 in its past 18 matches, and it improved to 8-2-1 at home this season. RSL (12-3-7, 43 points) have as many points as Los Angeles FC in the Western Conference, but Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker to sit at No. 1 in the standings.

Braian Ojeda had a goal and an assist for Real Salt Lake. Matt Crooks scored in the very first minute of the match, and Cristian Arango and Alexandros Katranis scored during a four-goal barrage in the second half.

Saba Lobjanidze and Daniel Rios scored for the Five Stripes (6-10-6, 24 points), who have lost their past two matches.

After Crooks' early strike, Atlanta United rebounded to control most of the first half, highlighted by Lobjanidze's equalizer in the 31st minute. Real Salt Lake were outshot 7-2 over the first 45-plus minutes, but their elite offense exploded after the break.

Ojeda hit the post on a beautiful curling shot in the 55th minute but redeemed himself four minutes later. Off a Salt Lake corner, Arango's header deflected off defender Derrick Williams in front of the net. The ball went to Ojeda, who turned and fired a right-footed shot for his second goal in as many matches.

In the 68th minute, Luna's free kick found an inexplicably wide-open Arango entering Atlanta's box. Arango buried the subsequent shot for his league-leading 17th goal of the season.

Real Salt Lake's next tally came off another set piece 10 minutes later. Luna rolled a corner kick to Katranis, who delivered a well-placed, left-footed shot that may have deflected off Rios before going into the net.

Rios atoned for his mistake with a goal of his own two minutes later, but Luna ended any hope of an Atlanta United comeback with RSL's fifth score. In the 84th minute, Luna impressively collected an awkward pass in the box, then recorded his fifth goal of the season.

--Field Level Media