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Pablo Ruiz’s stunning shot helps Real Salt Lake top D.C. United

Jun 17, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Real Salt Lake forward Carlos Andr s G mez (11) dribbles as h17 defends during the first half  at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Ruiz scored a remarkable goal from just inside his own half of the field and visiting Real Salt Lake continued their strong away form with a 2-1 victory against 10-man D.C. United on Saturday night.

Early in the second half, Danny Musovski added what stood as the match-winning goal for Salt Lake (6-7-5, 23 points), which completed an MLS-best-tying fourth road win of the season.

Ruiz’s memorable goal was his fourth, matching the team lead for the Claret and Cobalt, who have scored multiple goals in all four of their away victories.

It was only Salt Lake’s second MLS win in 12 all-time visits to Washington.

Chris Durkin scored his second goal of the season for D.C. United, who lost back-to-back matches for the first time since March.

The hosts played the final 64-plus minutes short-handed after defender Steven Birnbaum was sent off for a foul on Musovski that was ruled to have denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Despite Birnbaum’s ejection, D.C. (6-8-5, 23 points) created more chances than RSL in the first half until a magical moment from Ruiz changed everything.

As Salt Lake collected itself near midfield, Ruiz took a pass from Andrew Brody, looked up and noticed D.C. goalkeeper Tyler Miller off his line.

From there, with his third touch, Ruiz drove a left-footed shot from a step or two inside his own side of the midfield stripe that sailed about 60 yards over the retreating Miller and into the top right corner of the goal.

Musovski doubled RSL’s lead six minutes into the second half after a turnover by D.C.’s Lewis O’Brien. Jasper Loffelsend played the ball down the right side to Andres Gomez, who drove in a low cross toward the near post.

That’s where Musovski met the ball, hammering it in stride on his first touch past Miller and inside the right post.

Durkin got a goal back nearly immediately for D.C., taking a layoff from Ruan inside the penalty area and finishing past Zac MacMath.

But the home side struggled to generate many equalizing opportunities from there with their numerical disadvantage.

–Field Level Media

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