Garcia scores twice as RSL beats Montreal, 3-1

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake picked up a valuable three points on Thursday, getting goals from Luke Mulholland and two from Olmes Garcia to beat the Montreal Impact 3-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“It feels great," said midfielder Ned Grabavoy. "I mean however you need to get the three points that’s the focus. Each game is going to play out differently and each game is going to be different. Getting the three points at this point in the season is the important thing, especially at home. Against teams that are struggling, let’s be honest when we have teams that come in here who aren’t confident with the way they play we need to win those games."

Mulholland put the Claret-and-Cobalt up 1-0 just three minutes in to the game. Montreal managed to pull even before halftime through Hassoun Camara in the 31st minute. The Impact then went down a man in the 65th minute and couldn’t hold on with RSL substitute Garcia notching a brace with goals in the 70th and 93rd minutes to secure the win.

Garcia is the first RSL forward other than Joao Plata or Alvaro Saborio to score this season.

“He was fantastic," said head coach Jeff Cassar about Garcia. "The two goals were world-class. The final ball to him was fantastic. It’s what we want from him. He gave a fantastic performance, and he also worked very hard on the defensive end. Just a great night from him.”

Real Salt Lake opened up the scoring in the third minute through Mulholland. The play started with a corner taken by Javier Morales who whipped a ball into the box that Montreal flicked on to the far side of the area. Chris Schuler was there to head the ball back into the middle of the box where an open Mulholland half-volleyed a shot to the bottom left corner, beating Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush.

“I’m happy to be back in the starting 11," said Mulholland. "After that red card a few weeks ago, and then the fact that I helped get the three points, it felt good for me.”

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a huge save in the 75th minute to preserve the lead. The Claret-and-Cobalt cleared the ball to the top of the area, where open Montreal MF Andres Romero volleyed an attempt from 20 yards out. The shot ended up being a dangerous one as it forced Rimando to punch the ball away for the save.

Garcia made it two on the evening, giving the Claret-and-Cobalt an insurance goal in the 93rd minute. The play started with Morales deftly chipping a pass with the outside of the foot to Garcia at the top right corner of the box, who then sprung for goal and provided a sublime finish to the far post to end the night.

“I think that we played a little better today, but we got to keep working and keep improving," said Morales. "I’m so happy, because [Olmes] Garcia, in the second half, he scored two goals. We need it more than him, because we need those guys coming in the second half off the bench and make the impact.”

Real Salt Lake will finish its three-game homestand next Wednesday, when it hosts New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. MT in a nationally televised match on ESPN 2.

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