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Sporting KC rallies to draw Real Salt Lake in another wild match

(Kelsey Brunner, Deseret News)


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SANDY — Benny Feilhaber's second-half penalty kick gave Sporting Kansas City a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake, but the real fireworks of Saturday's Pioneer Day match came in RSL coach Mike Petke's postgame press conference.

Luis Silva scored his first goal in an RSL uniform to give the hosts a 1-0 halftime lead, striking home a well-placed cross by Joao Plata in the 43rd minute.

But nearly 15 minutes into the second half, Feilhaber drew a penalty against new RSL center back Marcelo Silva and converted from the spot for the equalizer.

That's when things got weird in a chippy rivalry match that featured seven yellow cards and saw Petke sent off midway through the second half after dressing down the officiating crew.

RSL was shown a yellow card each to Stephen Sunday, Danilo Acosta and Tony Beltran in the first 25 minutes of the second half.

Then, when Sporting Kansas City's Gerso Fernandes challenged RSL's Luke Mulholland with a studs-up tackle in the 77th minute, the RSL bench (and the 19,316 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium) had had enough, and Petke missed the final 20 minutes of the match after being ejected.

“I don’t really think the game was all that bad tonight," Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said after the match. "I actually think the referee did a pretty good job, I really do. I think he had two bad situations: one for us, one for them."

Petke did not air his direct frustrations with his ejection after the match, but he did begin with an unabashed assault on MLS and its Professional Referees Organization (PRO), one that included printouts and photographs of what he deemed to be missed calls Saturday and in previous matches.

"I am who I am; I have apologized to my players, I have apologized to my boss again, I have apologized to fans," Petke said. "I cannot, if I do not act the way I do, I can’t sleep the next four weeks. I have players here that over the last couple of games have given me everything, have bought in, everything."

Watch the complete diatribe below, courtesy of RSL Communications.

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