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RSL Recap - Cruz Azul 5 : 4 Real Salt Lake

REAL SALT LAKE DROPS WILD CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH 5-4 TO CRUZ AZUL

RSL Striker Álvaro Saborío Nets Twice, while FW Fabian Espíndola and MF Will Johnson also Tally in Bizarre Monsoon;
All Four Group A Teams Tied with Three Points After Matchweek #2

MEXICO CITY - (Wednesday, August 25, 2010) - Real Salt Lake was minutes away from American soccer history on Wednesday night, as the defending MLS Cup champs held an unprecedented 3-1 lead in the 75th minute over Mexican qualifier Cruz Azul in 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League play before succumbing 5-4 in a rain-soaked Group A / Matchweek 2 affair. RSL FW Álvaro Saborío – the hero of last week’s 2-1 win over Panamanian Champion Arabe Unido in the team’s first-ever foray into meaningful international competition – scored two goals tonight for the second consecutive week, and assisted on Fabian Espíndola’s 64th-minute goal to give RSL a 3-1 lead on a pitch made more unpredictable by the minute due to standing water and driving rain.

RSL was seeking to erase the 0-19-2 mark that MLS sides had accumulated on Mexican soil during the U.S. top-flight’s 15-year history when an apparent goal by MF Will Johnson was erased just 90 seconds into the match at Estadio Azul in Mexico City. Just three minutes later, Cruz Azul MF Javier Orozco found the back of the net for the first of what would be four times on the night. RSL was not to be deterred, however, despite allowing the first goal for the fourth time in its last five games in all competitions, as Costa Rican international Saborío knotted the game at 1-1 in the 23rd minute after Espíndola was taken down in the box on a breakaway by the last defender, Horacio Cervantes. Saborío converted the PK, and just before halftime, intercepted a back pass by the Cruz Azul defense and slotted home his second goal of the match in the 43rd minute.

After a 22-minute delay to the second-half restart due to a water-logged pitch, RSL increased its lead to 3-1 as Espindola was the beneficiary of Saborio’s work in the 64th minute. “Sabo” took the ball into the corner of the box and slotted a pass back to Espíndola at the penalty spot, where he easily converted the chance. Espíndola – whose incessant work over the course of the match began to toll on the Argentine – was removed in the 67th minute, making way for FW Robbie Findley, while RSL playmaker Javier Morales gave way in the 74th to “RSL Original” Andy Williams.

Orozco wasn’t done, scoring goals in the 75th, 88th and 89th minutes to give the home side a 4-3 lead. One of RSL’s relentless engines, Johnson, saw his 90th minute equalizer allowed to stand two minutes into second-half stoppage time. However, Cruz Azul playmaker Christian Gimenez, ran onto a cleared Marco Vela cross and buried the game-winner on the final play of the match, giving Cruz Azul the 5-4 win – and denying RSL the opportunity to accomplish another first for American soccer.

 
Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • With the loss tonight, Real Salt Lake drew even with fellow MLS side Toronto FC – Saturday’s MLS opponent at BMO Field - at the top of the Group A standings, alongside both Cruz Azul and Arabe Unido, as all four teams are 1-1-0 with 3 points, holding serve at home 
  • Toronto FC – which lost 0-1 in Panama to Arabe Unido Tuesday – hosts RSL in MLS action live on KUSG 2.2 / Comcast 111 / Dish 12 at 5:00 p.m. MT, with “the Reds” fighting for an Eastern Conference playoff spot and Real Salt Lake (11-4-6, 39 pts.) seeking to close the gap for the MLS Supporters’ Shield in a race with Los Angeles (43 pts.) and Columbus (40 pts.) 
  • Toronto FC will also be RSL’s Matchweek #3 fixture when the 2010/11 edition of CONCACAF Champions League resumes at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 8:00 p.m. MT (Fox Soccer Channel) 
  • With a victory Saturday in Toronto, RSL would match its franchise-high in road wins, improving to 4-4-1 away from Rio Tinto Stadium … Back in 2006, RSL went 4-9-3 (15 points) on the road, setting the six-year old franchise’s previous high … However, RSL has never won – or even scored – at BMO Field in three previous attempts, losing last year and in 2007, sandwiched around a draw in 2008
  • The pair of tallies for Saborío – who won the CONCACAF Champions Cup trophy with Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in 2005 – gives him an impressive haul of 12 goals overall for Real Salt Lake this season when combined with his team-high eight scores in League play

 

 

MATCH STATISTICS/ESTADISTICAS DEL PARTIDO

2010-11 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE/LIGA CAMPEONES

GROUP ROUND/RONDA DE GRUPOS

GROUP A/GRUPO A


Match/Partido #27

25.08.2010: Mexico City, D.F., MEXICO; Estadio Azul (A: N/A)

CRUZ AZUL (MEX) – REAL SALT LAKE (USA) – 5:4 (1:2)

 

CA: Javier OROZCO 5’, 75’, 88’, 89’; Cristian Gimenez 93+’

RSL: Alvaro SABORIO 23’, 43’; Fabian ESPINDOLA 64’; Will JOHNSON 92+’

 

Real Salt Lake: 18-Nick Rimando – 3-Robbie Russell, 30-Rauwshan McKenzie, 6-Nat Borchers, 17 – Chris Wingert, 5-Kyle Beckerman, 22-Nelson González (46: 20-Ned Grabavoy), 8-Will Johnson, 11-Javier Morales (74: 77-Andy Williams), 7-Fabian Espíndola (74: 10-Robbie Findley) 15-Alvaro Saborío

TD: Jason KREIS

 

Cruz Azul: 25-Gutierrez – 2-Pinto, 4-Domínguez, 15-Cervantes, 27-Orozco, 5-Castro, 8-Pineda (76: 16-Chavez), 6- Torrado, 18- Villaluz (46: 6-Gimenez), 30-Villa, 9-Biancucchi (46: 11-Vela)

TD: Enrique MEZA

 

Booked /Amonestados:

CAZ – Maxi Biancucchi – 18

RSL – Nelson González – 27

RSL – Robbie Findley – 87

CAZ – E. Villa – 90

 

Sent offs/ Expulsados:

none

 

Statistics/Estadísticas                     Real Salt Lake             Cruz Azul

Goal Attempts/Tiros Totales                  9                          9

Shots on Target/Tiros al Arco                        5                                  5

Saves/Atajadas                                              1                                  7

Fouls/Faltas                                                    9                                  8

Corner Kicks/Tiros de Esquina                      3                                  1

Offsides/Fuera de Lugar                                2                                  0

           

R: Oscar MANCADA (HON)

A1: Carlos PASTRANA (HON)

A2: Oscar VELASQUEZ (HON)

FO: Mauricio MORALES (MEX)