SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (1-1-0, 3 points, Group 2 #2) picked up a huge CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage win on Tuesday night, getting goals from FW Álvaro Saborío and MF Kyle Beckerman and surviving Beckerman’s 72nd minute ejection to beat Panama’s Tauro FC (0-1-0, 0 points, Group 2 #3) 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The win – which broke a four-game losing streak across all competitions – moves RSL to 1-1-0 in Group 2 of the CCL. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now even on points with Group leaders C.S. Herediano (1-0-0, 3 points, Group 2 #1), though RSL has just two Group Stage games left while Tauro and Herediano both have three.
RSL dominated the early stages of Tuesday’s match, holding a sizable possession advantage and keeping the ball in Tauro’s half for long stretches. The Claret-and-Cobalt had its first great look in the 16th minute. FW Paulo Jr. started the play, hitting a low cross from the right wing to MF Ned Grabavoy at the near post. Grabavoy shot with his first touch, hooking a 10-yard right footer across the face of goal that Tauro GK Alvaro Anzola did well to keep out.
Despite its dominance, RSL – which was without regular DF’s Nat Borchers (suspension) and Jamison Olave (injury) and had to play usual left back Chris Wingert in the middle – was a bit sloppy at the back. The team made several bad turnovers in the first half and nearly paid the price in the 20th minute, when Tauro MF Rolando Botello picked up DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe’s giveaway 25 yards from goal and lashed a half volley inches wide of the left post.
Real Salt Lake really put the pressure on toward the end of the half, registering three great chances. The first came in the 36th minute, when Grabavoy trapped a loose ball at the top of the box and smashed a left-footed half volley off the left post.
RSL had another great look in the 39th minute. Saborío played Paulo through the middle of the box for a 1-v-1 with the keeper, but the Brazilian striker couldn’t finish, getting two successive shots stopped by Anzola.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had one more chance before the break. Saborío had the opportunity, lofting a close-range header toward goal following a RSL corner that Anzola acrobatically tipped over the bar.
RSL continued attacking strongly after halftime, finally breaking through for a goal in the 48th minute. Saborío scored, pouncing on a rebound after a shot from Paulo – who made a 40-yard on-the-ball run into the box to set up the play – at the top-right corner of the six-yard box and easily slotting home for his 15th goal of the year across all competitions.
Saborío nearly added a second in the 49th before Beckerman made it 2-0 in the 58th minute. Again it was Paulo who started the play, passing to Beckerman from the left wing to allow the RSL captain to bury a low 25-yard shot inside the left post from the middle of the field.
Beckerman was at the center of the action again in the 72nd minute, though this time it was for the wrong reasons, with the U.S. international getting shown a straight red from referee Oscar Reyna for an after-the-whistle tackle on Tauro MF Carlos Salazar.
The red card forced RSL head coach Jason Kreis to bring on MF Yordany Alvarez for Saborío, switching the Claret-and-Cobalt from a 4-1-2-1-2 formation and into a 4-1-2-1-1.
Tauro began to attack in earnest after Beckerman’s ejection, pushing numbers up the field and holding much more of the ball. But RSL stayed disciplined defensively, keeping a compact shape and not allowing Tauro any serious looks at goal.
Real Salt Lake’s busy three-game in six-day stretch will come to an end on Friday, when the team will take on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. The Claret-and-Cobalt returns to CONCACAF Champions League action with a match at Tauro on Sept. 18.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2-TAURO FC 0
- Beckerman will be suspended for RSL’s Sept. 18 CCL match at Tauro after being ejected in the 72nd minute. The red card was Beckerman’s third in the last 11 months.
- Saborío’s goal was his 15th across all competitions in 2012. The Costa Rican international now has 49 goals in 88 games for RSL across all competitions, the most in Real Salt Lake history. The team is now 28-5-5 in games in which he scores.
- Tuesday’s sellout crowd of 20,430 was the seventh sold-out game at Rio Tinto Stadium this year, tying the record for most sellouts in a season set in 2011. The Claret-and-Cobalt are now 3-3-1 when playing in front of a sold-out home crowd in 2012.
- RSL DF Kenny Mansally had to leave Tuesday’s game in the 66th minute after spraining his left MCL.
- Aside from a few communication issues in the first half, RSL’s makeshift back four of Chris Wingert, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Tony Beltran and Kenny Mansally – and, after he went out injured, MF Will Johnson – performed well against Tauro, allowing just three shots throughout the match.
REAL SALT LAKE 2-TAURO FC 0
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 2 2
Tauro FC 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: RSL – Álvaro Saborío – 48’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Paulo Jr.) – 58’
Misconduct Summary: TAURO – Edwin Aguilar (Foul) – 60’
RSL – Kenny Mansally (Foul) – 63’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Straight Red) – 72’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Kenny Mansally (Jonny Steele, 66’), Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson; Javier Morales; Paulo Jr. (Fabían Espíndola, 71’), Álvaro Saborío (Yordany Alvarez, 74’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), John Krause, Luis Gil, Justin Braun
Tauro FC (4-3-2-1) – Alvaro Anzola (GK); Roberto Cortes, Lucho Moreno (C), Reinel Herrera, Leonel Parris; Jean McLean (Ruben Martinez, 75’), Juan Perez, Rolando Botello (Mane Asprilla, 53’); Carlos Salazar, Marcos Sanchez; Edwin Aguilar
Substitutes Not Used: Vladimir Villareal (GK), Jose Marmolejo, Manuel Vargas, Christian Pareja, Ruben Martinez, Elmer Pinto
Referee: Oscar Reyna
Referee's Assistants: Juan Lemus, Marco Diaz
4th Official: Juan Carlos Guerra
Weather: Clear and 92 degrees