Recap: Sporting KC extends unbeaten streak to four with scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake

Sporting KC extended the club's unbeaten streak to four games with a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd of more than 20,000 fans at Sporting Park. The visitors are now winless in five matches (0-2-3) at the stadium and have won only once in their 11 all-time trips (1-5-5) to Kansas City.

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The first of three regular season meetings between the Western Conference rivals in 2015 ended in a defensive deadlock as Sporting Kansas City held Real Salt Lake without a shot on goal in the draw. Real Salt Lake entered as the league's second-highest scoring team with 1.50 goals per game but failed to put an attempt on target for only the the fourth time in their history. Sporting Kansas City, on the other hand, have now held opponents without a shot on goal on nine occasions and did so on Saturday for the seventh such time since 2011. 

Since meeting in MLS Cup 2013, Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake have now played back-to-back 0-0 affairs at Sporting Park in 2014 and 2015. The two teams have allowed the fewest goals in Major League Soccer since 2011 (SKC 144, RSL 155) and are the only clubs to record at least 10 shutouts in each of the last three seasons.

The game's only shot on goal came from Sporting Kansas City outside back Jalil Anibaba in the sixth minute. Ike Opara did well to split two Real Salt Lake defenders with a pass into the penalty area, allowing Anibaba to turn with his first touch and strike his shot on the second touch. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was up to the task however, reaching low to his right to palm away the effort en route to his MLS-record 118th clean sheet.

Sporting Kansas City nearly found the breakthrough goal in the opening moments of the second half. Krisztian Nemeth's cross was inches beyond the reach of Dom Dwyer and Jacob Peterson, but the Hungarian international was then on the receiving end of Benny Feilhaber's whipped-in delivery seconds later. Nemeth re-directed the service toward net only to see his shot deflect off Jamison Olave and carom into the near post. 

Feilhaber, who leads MLS with four assists, again played the part of provider in the 55th minute. His first-time service was placed perfectly into the path of Dwyer for a sliding finish only to see assistant referee Kyle Atkins raise his flag upon eying the Englishman a step ahead of Olave. 

Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake remain level in third place in the Western Conference with nine points following Saturday's result. Real Salt Lake - one of two remaining unbeaten teams - will next host League leaders Vancouver Whitecaps FC, while Sporting KC will travel to reigning MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy for a 9:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday at StubHub Center.

Major League Soccer
Regular Season: Game 6
Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 20,087 (57th straight sell out)
Weather: 68 degrees and partly cloudy

Score

1

2

F

Sporting KC (2-1-3, 9 pts)

0

0

0

Real Salt Lake (2-0-3, 9 pts)

0

0

0

Sporting Kansas City: Luis Marin; Marcel de Jong, Matt Besler (c), Ike Opara (Kevin Ellis 84), Jalil Anibaba; Roger Espinoza, Servando Carrasco, Benny Feilhaber; Krisztian Nemeth, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson (Bernardo Anor 77)

Subs Not Used: Tim Melia, Soni Mustivar, Amadou Dia, Jimmy Medranda, Paulo Nagamura

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Jamison Olave, Elias Vasquez, Tony Beltran, Kenny Mansally; Luke Mulholland (John Stertzer 92+), Kyle Beckerman (c), Javier Morales; Luis Gil (Jordan Allen 65), Alvaro Saborio, Olmes Garcia (Demar Phillips 88)

Subs Not Used: Jeff Attinella, Aaron Maund, Sebastian Saucedo, Devon Sandoval

Stats

SKC

RSL

Shots

12

4

Shots on Goal

1

0

Saves

0

1

Fouls

11

11

Offside

2

5

Corner Kicks

7

2

Misconduct Summary:
RSL -- Tony Beltran (caution; reckless tackle) 44
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio (caution; unsporting behavior) 61
SKC -- Servando Carrasco (caution; unsporting behavior) 61
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; dissent) 64
RSL -- Kenny Mansally (caution; delaying a restart) 80

Scoring Summary:

None

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