SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake drew Club Tijuana 1-1 in an international friendly on Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Tijuana took the lead in the 77th minute through a beautiful strike from MF Edgar Villegas to put the Mexican side up 1-0. Claret-and-Cobalt MF Luis Gil had the last word though, finding the equalizer in the 88th minute with a fantastic half-volley to the upper corner to finish the match 1-1.
Real Salt Lake registered the first chance of the night in the 12th minute. The play started with the Claret-and-Cobalt earning a free kick 25 yards out on the right side. Gil took the kick, whipping in a nice ball into the box that nearly found the head of RSL FW Robbie Findley at the far post. RSL MF Sebastian Velasquez picked up the loose ball outside the box and played the ball back in towards RSL FW Devon Sandoval who had open look but could only get a slight touch on the ball. Claret-and-Cobalt MF John Stertzer made the run in behind Sandoval but didn’t get enough on the header to put it on frame. The ball ended up falling to Stertzer’s feet but his follow up shot went straight to Tijuana GK Gibarn Lajud.
Gil had a fantastic look in the 25th minute. The young U.S. international tried his luck from distance, receiving the ball 30 yards from goal and blasting a shot on frame that forced an acrobatic save from Lajud, who was able to push the shot out for a corner kick.
RSL had another decent chance in the 37th minute. RSL MF Luke Mulholland started the play on the left flank playing a ball to Velasquez just inside the top corner of the box. The Colombian trapped the ball with his chest, playing it on to his left foot, and fired a shot to the near post. But Lajud was able to get to the attempt with a diving save to keep the score even.
RSL head coach Jeff Cassar mixed things up at the start of the second half, making four halftime substitutions, with GK Lalo Fernandez, DFs Carlos Salcedo and Abdoulie Mansally and FW Olmes Garcia all entering the match.
The second half started with Tijuana on the front foot as the Mexican side almost took the lead in the 51st minute. Xolos DF Alejandro Molina had the chance, placing a shot into the side netting from inside the area. Tijuana almost struck again a minute later with Villegas bending a shot from just outside the box that went wide of the upper right corner.
Tijuana kept the momentum going, registering another opportunity in the 57th minute off a corner kick. Tijuana MF Alejandro Guido took the corner, sending a ball to the far post that FW Henry Martin headed back across goal, but RSL substitute ‘keeper Fernandez did well to come off his line and corral the ball.
Gil continued to threaten in front of goal, registering another fantastic chance two minutes later. The Claret-and-Cobalt earned a free kick just outside the left corner of the box which Gil stepped up to take. The 20-year-old hit a spectacular shot that looked destined to sneak underneath the crossbar, but Lajud came up big again, getting one hand to the ball to push over the bar.
Gil again almost notched the go ahead goal in the 75th minute. RSL substitute FW Joao Plata worked his way down the left side, managing to get off a pass to Gil at the top of the box before getting tackled. Gil rifled a shot on frame but his attempt smacked off the crossbar and out of play.
Tijuana was finally able to break through and found the back of the net in the 77th minute. Tijuana’s Villegas received the ball just inside the corner of the box and curled a beautiful left-footed shot to the far post, placing it in the upper-90.
Real Salt Lake desperately searched for the equalizer, which Gil was able to deliver in the 88th minute. Mansally got the ball outside the area on the left side, and laid the ball off for Gil just inside the 18 yard box. Gil took a touch, deftly moving ball around his defender, to set himself up for a half-volley that he struck beautifully to the far upper corner to draw even.
Real Salt Lake will resume MLS action on Saturday, when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC in a nationally televised match at 12:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to the RSL-Seattle match can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-1 TIJ
- Tuesday’s friendly marked RSL’s 10th sell-out based on tickets distributed (20,472), of the 2014 season across all competitions. The sell-out was RSL’s ninth-straight this year and 40th across all competitions since Rio Tinto Stadium’s 2008 opening. The in-house attendance was 13,222.
- Tonight’s matchup marked the first-ever meeting between Club Tijuana and Real Salt Lake.
- RSL is now 3-4-3 all-time against Mexican teams, including a 3-3-2 mark at home with previous matches against Monterrey (2011 CCL Final), Cruz Azul (2010 CCL group stage), along with friendlies against Morelia (2005), Santos Laguna and Tigres (2008), Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America (2009).
- Prior to tonight’s friendly, the last time Real Salt Lake hosted an international side at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Claret-and-Cobalt was eliminated from the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League with a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica’s CS Herediano on Oct. 23, 2012. RSL also met a similar fate in the second leg of the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League Final, also held at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 27, 2011. The home side fell 1-0 to Mexican side C.F. Monterrey, ultimately losing the Championship 3-2 on aggregate. The 2010-11 CCL Final is the farthest an MLS team has gone in the revered tournament.
- Real Salt Lake has been successful against international teams, now posting a 14-8-8 all-time record in international contests. The Claret-and-Cobalt has done fairly well at home against global competition (not including Canadian teams), going 10-6-5 in the Beehive State.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–1 CLUB TIJUANA
TUESDAY, AUG. 12, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Club Tijuana 0 0 1 1
TIJ – Edgar Villegas - 77’
RSL – Luis Gil (Abdoulie Mansally) - 87’
TIJ – John Requejo (Yellow; Foul) – 7’
TIJ – Elio Castro (Yellow; Foul) – 11’
RSL – Tony Beltran (Yellow; Foul) – 21’
TIJ – Oliver Ortiz (Yellow; Foul) – 59’
RSL – Carlos Salcedo (Yellow, Foul) – 85’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez, 45’); Chris Wingert (Carlos Salcedo, 45’); Aaron Maund (Abdoulie Mansally 45’); Justen Glad; Tony Beltran; John Stertzer (Chris Schuler, ’82); Luke Mulholland (Olmes Garcia, 45’); Sebastian Velasquez; Luis Gil; Robby Findley (Joao Plata, 70’); Devon Sandoval
Substitutes not used: Nat Borchers; Kyle Beckerman
Club Tijuana (5-3-2): Gibran Lajud; Elio Castro; Javier Salas; John Requejo; Oliver Ortiz; Alejandro Molina; Edgar Villegas; Alfredo Moreno; Alejandro Guido (Luis Chavez, 85’); Paul Arriola (Fernando Arce, 81’); Henry Martin (Jose Garcia, 74’)
Substitutes not used: Dilan Nicoletti; Daniel Gomez; Mathews Gomez; Luis Garcia; Amando Moreno; German Ramirez
Stats Summary: RSL / TIJ
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 13 / 16
Offside: 0 / 1
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Eduardo Mariscal, Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Victor Rivas
Attendance: 20,472 ticket sales (13,222 in person)
Weather: Rainy and 66 degrees