Football

Rampant Seattle Sounders end Real Salt Lake's unbeaten run

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Major League Soccer leaders Seattle Sounders FC thrashed Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, in what was the visitors' first defeat of the season.

The Rave Green scored through Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa, Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins to extend their lead over the Royals at the top of the table.

Real had gone unbeaten for the first 12 games of the campaign, but were second best by a distance here, and lacked firepower with front pair Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio out injured.

It was fitting that on a day when Frank Lampard and David Villa joined the MLS, the division's top side showcased the quality already in the United States.

Barrett created the first chance of the match as he burst forward from deep and fizzed a left-footed shot wide of the far post. Though Seattle were dominant throughout, they didn't create another opportunity until the 37th minute as the Claret and Cobalt stood firm.

Zach Scott's header from a Pineda free-kick dropped just wide, but four minutes later the Sounders were ahead. A Brad Evans cross caused havoc in the Royals' penalty area, and Lamar Neagle profited from Jeff Attinella's spill, only to be bundled to the ground by Aaron Maund. Pineda stepped up to score his second spot-kick in two games and give Seattle a half-time lead.

Another Maund foul just after the break led to another Sounders goal. The 23-year-old chopped down Evans, and Pappa curled the resulting free-kick expertly into the near corner for his first goal in the Rave Green

Martins' pace was starting to cause real problems, but neither Neagle nor the Nigerian could convert the chances that followed. Both players were involved in Seattle's third goal though on 62 minutes.

Maund, who was enduring a torrid afternoon, was robbed by Martins on the half-way line and Neagle broke away with the ball. He then squared to Barrett, whose shot deflected into the roof of the net off the Real defender.

The visitors' first clear opening came in the 70th minute, as a neat move concluded with a delightful chipped pass from Javier Morales to Olmes Garcia, who struck the cross-bar. They continued to look suspect in defence though, and Attinella was forced to make two saves in a minute.

First he gathered as Martins fired straight at the goalkeeper following a lovely one-two, then Neagle was played in but was denied by a combination of the American and the woodwork.

As the game entered stoppage time though, the Rave Green did add a fourth. Substitute Kenny Cooper's drilled cross was touched in by Martins to round off a fifth consecutive home win.

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Topics:
MLS
Obafemi Martins
Football
Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders FC

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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