Real Salt Lake vs. FC Cincinnati – Football Match Report – September 18, 2022
Brenner scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season to continue his recent tear and lift FC Cincinnati to a critical 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
Brenner’s third multi-goal performance of the season follows the hat trick he scored a week ago in a 6-0 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes. It helped Cincinnati respond from an early deficit to edge closer to the club’s first-ever playoff appearance.
Goalkeeper Roman Celentano saved a penalty late in the first half with the score still tied to move sixth-place Cincy (11-8-12, 45 points) five points from the playoff line in the contending for seven spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs with two games to go.
The rookie goaltender finished with seven saves as the FCC extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games and won back-to-back games for the first time since May.
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Maikel Chang scored early for RSL (11-11-10, 43 points), which started the night three points ahead of the LA Galaxy for seventh and final Western playoff spot.
Salt Lake ended a 316-minute scoreless streak but went winless in its last four games in search of a second straight playoff berth.
Brenner equalized the game in the 44th minute. Alvaro Barrreal sent an early cross from the left all the way through the box and eventually found Alvas Powell on the other side.
Powell looked to his left to find Brenner, who hammered a low shot that had enough power to overcome a deflection from goalie Zac MacMath on its way across the line.
Brenner’s winner came in the 76th minute with a similar finish. This time the goal came in transition, with Luciano Acosta trying to thread a through ball towards the striker.
It took a deflection in its path, and Brenner adjusted his body superbly to receive the pass. He spun and fired a sneaky quick kick to take his season tally to 14 goals, two shy of team leader Brandon Vazquez.
Salt Lake took the lead 10 minutes before halftime. Jasper Loeffelsend found Jefferson Savarino near the line with a throw-in from the right, and Savarino crossed to the top of the six-yard box.
Chang beat his defender to meet the cross with a powerful header, giving Celentano little chance to react in time to make a save.