SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake lost the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Tuesday night, giving up a goal late in the first half to fall 1-0 to D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium.
D.C. MF Lewis Neal scored the game’s only goal in the 45th minute, picking up a loose ball in the left side of the box and slamming his first-time effort inside the far post from 10 yards out on the left side. RSL controlled the run of play, but couldn’t turn its possession into a goal, hitting the woodwork twice to drop the club’s first Open Cup Final.
Real Salt Lake looked good in the early minutes, putting D.C. on the back foot with some solid attacking movements. The Claret-and-Cobalt had its first real look at goal in the 27th minute. FW Joao Plata collected a MF Sebastian Velasquez ball in the right side of the area, turning and firing an effort just wide of the top-right-corner.
RSL had a couple of half chances in the 32nd and 39th minutes. Captain Kyle Beckerman had the first, letting a low shot loose from distance that D.C. GK Bill Hamid held comfortably. MF Javier Morales created the second opportunity, hitting a low cross into the box that bounced menacingly around the area before being cleared from danger. Several Real Salt Lake players appealed for a hand ball following the sequence, but referee Juan Guzman had none of it, allowing play to continue.
Neal put United ahead in the 45th. The play began with MF John Thorrington clipping a cross into the middle from the right side. RSL’s attempted clearance didn’t make it out of the area, allowing Neal to run onto it 10 yards out. He made no mistake with his chance, slamming his left-footed effort inside the far post with his first touch.
Real Salt Lake completely controlled the entire second 45, taking advantage of United’s deep-lying tactics to dominate the run of play and create numerous chances.
MF Ned Grabavoy had RSL’s first look of the second half in the 52nd minute, collecting a ball in space on the left side, dribbling towards the area and firing a curling 20-yarder that Hamid held.
RSL had one of its best looks at an equalizer in the 59th minute. Velasquez had the chance, slaloming through the center of D.C.’s defense before attempting to slip a teammate through on the left side. Velasquez’s pass was deflected by a D.C. player, but the 22-year-old playmaker continued his run into the area, picking up the loose ball 10 yards out and ripping a shot off the crossbar on the left side.
RSL had a pair of half chances – and a Grabavoy head laceration – in the 71st and 76th minutes before getting denied by a huge Hamid save in the 81st. RSL headed a ball from the top of the box toward the right post, with Saborio latching onto it at the top-right-corner of the six. The Costa Rican striker looked like he had the equalizer with his first-time volley, but Hamid had other ideas, somehow getting a hand to the ball to keep it out.
RSL desperately searched for an equalizer in the game’s final minutes, throwing massive numbers forward in an effort to force extra time. Grabavoy again came close in the 90th minute, collecting a brilliant through ball from substitute FW Devon Sandoval six yards from goal in the left side of the area before just losing out on his touch to Hamid.
D.C. nearly added a second in the 91st minute, when substitute FW Conor Doyle got free behind the RSL defense. Claret-and-Cobalt GK Nick Rimando came well out of the box to defend Doyle, fouling him 25 yards out to prevent a goal. Rimando was shown a yellow card for the foul.
RSL had two more chances before the final whistle. Sandoval had the first look, biking a clipped ball from RSL DF Nat Borchers on frame but – unfortunately – right at Hamid.
Saborio had the final look of the match, hitting the crossbar in the final minute of stoppage time. The Costa Rican striker got on the end of a bouncing ball at the top of the six, heading a shot toward the top-right-corner that reverberated off the crossbar and out of play.
Real Salt Lake will return to action this Saturday, when it will host Western Conference foe FC Dallas in a match rife with playoff implications at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 0-1 DC
- D.C. United’s win over Real Salt Lake hands them their third U.S. Open Cup title in their 18 year history, previously winning the trophy in 1996 and 2008.
- Despite Real Salt Lake maintaining the majority of possession (69.4%) and creating the majority of chances, D.C. United MF Lewis Neal was able to capitalize in the 45th minute, pouncing on a loose ball in the box. Neal’s goal was D.C. United’s only shot on target in the entire match. Neal trained with RSL during the 2012 preseason but was later signed by D.C. United.
- Real Salt Lake is now 8-9-1 all-time in Open Cup action, scoring 29 goals and conceding 31 in its 17 games in the tournament. The Claret-and-Cobalt met D.C. in the Open Cup once previously, losing 2-1 at United in the play-in rounds in the 2010 Open Cup.
- Real Salt Lake FW Devon Sandoval closed out the tournament with a team-leading three goals. FW Alvaro Saborio and FW Joao Plata ended with two goals and two assists a piece. MF Javier Morales notched one goal and three assists.
- Tuesday’s match was RSL’s first appearance in an Open Cup Final and the third home final in club history. The loss marks the third time RSL has lost a final at Rio Tinto Stadium, previously losing to the New York Red Bulls in the 2008 Western Conference Final and falling to Monterrey in the second leg of the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League final.
- Real Salt Lake MF Luis Gil was not in tonight’s 18 after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Sunday.
REAL SALT LAKE 0–1 D.C. UNITED
TUESDAY, OCT. 1, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
D.C. United 1 0 1
DC – Lewis Neal – 45’
DC – James Riley (Yellow, Foul) – 21’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Yellow, Dissent) – 46’
DC – Nick DeLeon (Yellow, Dissent) – 58’
DC – Chris Korb (Yellow, Dissent) – 80’
RSL – Nick Rimando (Yellow, Foul) – 90’ + 1’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Carlos Salcedo (Devon Sandoval, 81’), Tony Beltran, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez (Khari Stephenson, 69’), Javier Morales, Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia, 57’), Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Chris Schuler, Yordany Alvarez, Cole Grossman
D.C. United (4-4-2): Bill Hamid, James Riley, Dejan Jakovic, Ethan White, Chris Korb, Perry Kitchen, Lewis Neal, Chris Pontius (Conor Doyle, 87’), John Thorrington, Nick DeLeon, Dwayne de Rosario (Luis Silva, 75’)
Substitutes not used: Joe WIllis, Dennis Iapichino, Kyle Porter, Daniel Woolard, Jared Jeffrey
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Weather: Clear and 66 degrees