Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Silva (20) celebrates a goal on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
SANDY — The math got slightly less complicated for Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night as it continues to fight for a Western Conference playoff berth.
First and foremost, eighth-place RSL beat seventh-place San Jose 4-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium, a massive result in what was undoubtedly a must-win situation for the home side.
Simultaneously in the Pacific Northwest, another match unfolded relatively favorably for RSL as sixth-place Vancouver only picked up a point against Seattle at home. The combination of results means that RSL is now just three points behind Vancouver for the last playoff spot.
The fact Vancouver has played three fewer matches complicates the math a bit for Real Salt Lake, but its 4-1-3 record over the past two months has at least moved the club into striking distance — which seemed impossible two months ago.
Coach Mike Petke’s team has another very important home match this Saturday against rival Colorado, which is way out of the playoff conversation sitting in 10th place in the West.
RSL heads into that match beaming with confidence after dismantling a San Jose team that played the final 30 minutes with 10 men.
Not only did Luis Silva, Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak and Yura Movsisyan all find the back of the net, Real Salt Lake hit the post on three other occasions as it controlled the match throughout — both on level terms and with a man advantage.
“We didn’t do much differently tonight than we have the past month, month and a half,” set Petke. “The only difference was we converted our chances. We created so many opportunities, and we’ve been so fluid going forward, and tonight it fell to us and guys were lethal with the ball at their feet and going to goal.”
RSL was on the front foot early and went ahead in the 29th minute as Silva continued his great run of form.