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Real Salt Lake ends skid with win over Orlando City


Sam Johnson scored his first MLS goal in just his second start, helping Real Salt Lake snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Orlando City at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Damir Kreilach also scored his second of the season for RSL (2-4-1, 7 points) after halftime on a strike that eventually proved the game-winner.

Former Portugal international and Manchester United star Nani pulled a goal back for Orlando (2-3-2, 8 points) on a free kick from distance.

The visitors failed to record consecutive wins for the first time since winning six in a row last spring.

Salt Lake midfielder Everton Luiz departed after 24 minutes with what appeared to be a leg or groin injury.

Johnson signed a Designated Player contract with Salt Lake in February, but the striker had been used primarily off the bench early on this season by coach Mike Petke.

However, the Liberian international who previously played in Norway required less than 17 minutes to make an impact in his second consecutive time in Petke’s starting lineup.

On a quick restart, Albert Rusnak took Kreilach’s pass and picked out Johnson going toward goal on the left, and as Johnson tried to slice through the defense, he fell to the turf. But the fall may have actually helped fool the tracking defenders, as he rose quickly, got the ball and cut back toward the near post before unfurling a ferocious shot past Brian Rowe.

Kreilach doubled Salt Lake’s lead 10 minutes after the break, this time after an attack down the right. Jefferson Savarino got the ball out wide and Johnson made a run toward the near post. But Savarino instead dragged his cross back toward the penalty area, where Kreilach ran onto it and smashed in a first-touch finish.

That brought on Nani and Dom Dwyer from the bench, and the two combined to give the visitors a lifeline nine minutes from full time.

Dwyer earned a foul about 25 yards from the goal. Nani stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, curling it over the wall and beyond Nick Rimando’s dive.

But Orlando did not have another quality scoring chance in the last stages as Salt Lake held on to all three points.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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