TUCSON, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake scored two goals in the final three minutes to beat the New England Revolution 3-2 in FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup action at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday night.
RSL currently sits in second-place in the Desert Diamond Cup standings with four points. The Claret-and-Cobalt will advance to Saturday’s DDC Final if the New York Red Bulls draw or lose to Seattle Sounders FC in the late game on Wednesday night. RSL could also advance to the DDC Final if New York beats Seattle, pending a series of goal difference and goals scored tiebreakers.
RSL’s reserve-laden starting lineup put the Claret-and-Cobalt ahead in the 22nd minute. MF Sebastian Velasquez created the chance, firing a long-range shot that New England GK Bobby Shuttleworth failed to hold. RSL rookie FW Devon Sandoval pounced on the rebound, firing into an empty net from eight yards out.
RSL continued attacking after taking the lead, getting good looks at goal in the 35th and 37th minutes. DF Carlos Salcedo created the first opportunity, getting forward from his center back position to hit a teasing cross across the face of goal that just missed connecting with a pair of RSL players. Velasquez had the second chance, pulling a nifty give-and-go with Sandoval at the top of the area before firing a left-footed shot just wide of the left post from the right side of the box.
New England had its first good look in the 39th minute. MF Kelyn Rowe collected a short corner in the left side of the box, curling a cross toward the far post that FW Jerry Bengtson headed just over the bar from eight yards out.
The Claret-and-Cobalt had one final look before halftime, with MF Enzo Martinez rifling a shot from the left side of the area toward the top-right corner that Shuttleworth did well to parry away for a corner.
RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis made a pair of changes at the break, bringing on FW Olmes Garcia – making his RSL debut – and FW Joao Plata for Sandoval and FW David Viana. New England made nine subs at the half, leaving only Shuttleworth and DF Andrew Farrell on the field from the starting lineup.
The Revolution started the second half brightly, scoring goals in the 50th and 57th minutes to take a 2-1 lead. FW Diego Fagundez created the first score, collecting a long ball from Farrell on the left side and getting to the end line before cutting the ball back to MF Andy Dorman, who slotted home from eight yards out.
New England DF A.J. Soares put the Revs up 2-1 in the 57th minute. The big center back got on the end of a Gabe Latigue free kick in the center of the box, flicking a header into the left upper 90 from 12 yards out.
Real Salt Lake switched out its entire team in the 69th minute, bringing on starters at every position. The changes paid off in the match’s final minutes, when RSL scored a pair of goals to down New England 3-2.
The Claret-and-Cobalt FW Alvaro Saborio scored the equalizer in the 88th minute. The Costa Rican international collected a ball on the right edge of the area, cutting it back all the way to the top of the box before rifling a powerful left-footed shot into the top-left corner.
RSL trialist FW Khari Stephenson netted the winner in stoppage time. MF Ned Grabavoy started the play, playing a ball from the right edge of the area to Stephenson at the top of the arc. The Jamaican international took a touch and fired a shot that took a deflection and found the back of the net. Stephenson’s shot was the last kick of the game.
Real Salt Lake will now await the result of Wednesday’s Seattle-New York match to learn whether or not it will play in Saturday’s Desert Diamond Cup Final or 3rd Place game.
REAL SALT LAKE 3–2 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20, 2013
KINO VETERANS MEMORIAL STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
New England Revolution 0 2 2
RSL – Devon Sandoval – 22’
NE – Andy Dorman (Diego Fagundez) – 50’
NE – A.J. Soares (Gabe Latigue*) – 57’
RSL – Alvaro Saborio – 88’
RSL – Khari Stephenson (Ned Grabavoy) – 90+
NE – Bilal Duckett (Foul) – 54’
NE – Andy Dorman (Foul) – 67’
RSL – Yordany Alvarez (Foul) – 69’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Josh Saunders** (Jeff Attinella, 69’); Rich Balchan (Tony Beltran, 69’), Aaron Maund (Chris Schuler, 69’), Carlos Salcedo (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 69’), Lovel Palmer (Kenny Mansally, 69’); Yordany Alvarez (Kyle Beckerman, 69); Enzo Martinez (John Stertzer, 69’), Cole Grossman (Ned Grabavoy, 69’); Sebastian Velasquez (Khari Stephenson**, 69’); David Viana (Joao Plata, 46’; Alvaro Saborio, 69’), Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia, 46’; Robbie Findley, 69’)
New England Revolution (4-4-2) – Bobby Shuttleworth; Andrew Farrell (Juan Toja, 64’), Stephen McCarthy (Bilal Duckett, 46’), Jose Goncalves (A.J. Soares, 46’), Kevin Alston (Tyler Polak, 46’); Donnie Smith* (Gabe Latigue*, 46’), Scott Caldwell (Clyde Simms, 46’), Kalifa Cisse (Andy Dorman, 46’), Kelyn Rowe (Cameron Brown, 46’; Sainey Nyassi, 73’); Lee Nguyen (Dimitry Imbongo, 46’); Jerry Bengtson (Diego Fagundez, 46’)
* Unsigned Draft Pick; ** Trialist