After upending Seattle on penalty kicks in a first-round stunner, few gave Real Salt Lake a chance to continue the magic on the road against Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference semifinals.

Yet somehow, the seventh seed that barely even made the postseason is making a whole lot of noise now that they are in it.

After beating Sporting on Decision Day three weeks ago with a stoppage-time winner to sneak into the playoffs, RSL found even more late-game heroics, this time from an unlikely source.

After falling behind 1-0 in the 24th minute after Aaron Herrera conceded a penalty, Real continued to press forward while knowing that while they were now down, they weren’t out yet.

Failing to find an equalizer for nearly half an hour after the opening goal despite outplaying SKC, RSL manager Pablo Mastroeni went to his bench in the 57th minute, bringing on Justin Meram and Anderson Julio.

The duo made an instant impact and just 15 minutes after subbing on, Julio delivered the equalizer off a pass from Andrew Brody.

Real continued to push for another goal, trying to avoid extra time for the second time in five days and having the momentum in their favor.

Then came 90 minutes, and the referee signaled for two more to be added on. Justin Meram then made a final run down the pitch, delivering a cross to another second-half substitute, Bobby Wood.

Wood – who scored just twice for RSL during the regular season – redirected Meram’s pass off the inside of his foot and into the back of the net, giving the visitors a shocking 2-1 victory and sending them to the Western Conference final.

Up next 

RSL’s remarkable run in the postseason continues to the club’s first conference final appearance since 2013.

Real will travel to face the Portland Timbers – the West’s fourth seed – for a chance to reach the 2021 MLS Cup final.

The match will be played on Saturday, December 4 at 4:30 p.m. MT and can be seen on FS1.

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Real Salt Lake Upsets Seattle In MLS Cup Playoffs