Real Salt Lake proved it is better than Seattle Sounders FC when the playing field is level, even though both teams ended with just 10 men Saturday and a bit of luck was on its side.
Alvaro Saborio scored early in the second half as Real Salt Lake beat Seattle, 2-1, in front of 35,904 at CenturyLink Field in Major League Soccer to avenge an early-season home loss.
Seattle was the first road team to win at Real in over two years in May, but a red card to Jamison Olave helped fuel that victory. The Sounders went up a man again in the rematch, but had a man sent off minutes later to level the field.
Real Salt Lake (13-7-6) also got an own goal from Seattle goalie Kasey Keller, who incredibly scooped the ball into his own net 12 minutes into the game. The visitors had Tony Beltran sent off in the 35th.
Fredy Montero scored for Seattle (13-6-9), but the Sounders wasted the one-man advantage when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off in the 40th.
Montero did score the equalizer before half, as he settled a cross from Mauro Rosales to beat Nick Rimando from 12 yards. But Rosales, who notched his 10th assist, missed a penalty kick earlier in the half.
That left the game even at 1-1 through 45 minutes, and a loose ball inside the area fell to Saborio 10 minutes after halftime and he notched the game-winner, his team-leading eighth of the season.
Real held on after Rimando stopped a point-blank shot from Tyson Wahl with his face in the 69th, and closed to within three points of the Sounders for second place in the Western Conference.
RSL, which has played two fewer games than Seattle, hosts Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 17. Seattle hosts D.C. United on Sept. 17.