SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (7-4-8 29 points, West #3), played Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-4-9, 27 points, West #6) to a 1-1 draw in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
RSL FW Joao Plata scored in the 81st minute for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which fell behind after Vancouver FW Darren Mattocks converted a controversial penalty kick in the 73rd minute.
Real Salt Lake put in a dominant performance at home, maintaining the majority of possession and outshooting Vancouver 16-9. The Claret-and-Cobalt got off to a fast start, registering the first opportunity of the match in the third minute. RSL MF Javier Morales had the chance, earning a free kick 20 yards out at the top of the area. The Argentine sent a curling ball that seemed destined to beat Vancouver GK David Ousted to the top left corner but the ‘keeper came up big with a one-handed save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake continued to be the more dangerous side through the first half, garnering an excellent chance in the 21st minute. RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman started the play, finding RSL MF Ned Grabavoy open on the left side of the box who then picked out FW Devon Sandoval with a cross into the area. The target forward headed the cross toward goal but the shot went just wide of the net.
Real Salt Lake had a decent look in the 30th minute off a corner kick. The Claret-and-Cobalt did well to earn the corner after Morales was able strip Vancouver of the ball in RSL’s defensive end to spring RSL MF Luis Gil on the counter. Gil sprinted into attacking half where he played a lovely through ball for Plata who made his way to the touchline but his attempt to play the ball back went off a Vancouver defender for a corner. Morales took the free kick finding RSL DF Nat Borchers open in the box but his header sailed high over the bar.
Vancouver started to come alive in the 38th minute, registering a pair of dangerous chances seconds apart. The first chance saw Vancouver spring speedster FW Darren Mattocks down the left side who deftly worked his way around Borchers for a one-on-one with RSL GK Nick Rimando. The Jamaican was unable to finish though, sending his open shot wide of the far post. Vancouver MF Sebastian Fernandez had the next opportunity with a blast from inside the 18 yard box that went just shy of the near post.
Real Salt Lake continued to threaten at the start of the second half as Beckerman almost put RSL on the scoreboard in the 48th minute. Plata started the play, sending a great ball from outside the area to the far post that Beckerman ran onto, but the RSL captain couldn’t put his header on target which hit the side netting.
Gil had a golden opportunity to score in the 52nd minute. Beckerman started the play on the left side of the area, taking the ball to the touchline before sending in a low ball into the box that deflected off a Vancouver defender to an open Gil 10 yards from goal. Gil was unable to get a touch on the ball however, sending his half-volley attempt high and wide.
Vancouver went on to take the lead in the 73rd minute, converting a controversial penalty kick. Mattocks earned the call on a breakaway in the box after Borchers appeared to make a clean slide-tackle to get the ball out from under the speedy forward, but the referee pointed to the spot. Mattocks went on to convert the penalty to put Vancouver up by one.
After the controversial call, things started to get heated between the two sides with a flurry of yellow cards issued after an off the ball scuffle at the midfield line. Real Salt Lake went on to capitalize on the increased intensity of the match, finding the equalizer in the 81st minute. Plata pulled RSL even after running onto a Beckerman pass from the top of the area and coolly finishing a left-footed shot to the far post from inside the box for his eighth of the year.
After pulling even, Real Salt Lake desperately searched for the game-winner, creating a number of chances in the final minutes. The best opportunity came in stoppage time through RSL substitute FW Robbie Findley. Beckerman was again at the start of the action playing Findley in behind the back line with a wonderful ball to create a one-on-one for Findley. Findley played the ball in front of himself and was able to get a touch on the ball before on onrushing Ousted, but the ball deflected off of Ousted and then off of Findley and out for a goal kick.
Real Salt Lake will continue its homestand on Thursday night, hosting Montreal Impact at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. MT. Tickets to the RSL-Montreal contest 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 VAN
- Saturday’s attendance of 20,265 marked Real Salt Lake’s seventh sell-out of the 2014 season. RSL was at capacity for the March 22 season opening 1-1 draw against LA, the April 19 1-0 win against Portland, the May 17 2-1 victory over Colorado, the May 24 scoreless draw with FC Dallas, the 3-1 loss to Portland on June 7 and the 2-1 win over New England on July 4. Tonight’s sell-out marks the club’s 36th sell-out across all competitions since Rio Tinto Stadium’s 2008 opening.
- Tonight’s match between Real Salt Lake and Vancouver Whitecaps FC was their second meeting of the 2014 MLS regular season. RSL continues its unbeaten run against Vancouver, extending it to six games. RSL now posts a 4-2-4 all-time record against the Cascadia side and remains unbeaten against the ‘Caps in Utah with a 3-0-3 all-time record at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Tonight marked the third consecutive match with Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran GK Nick Rimando in the starting lineup. Beckerman and Rimando returned to the club from Brazil on July 3 and went on to help lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution the next day to snap the club’s five game winless streak in MLS action. The Claret-and-Cobalt are now 1-1-1 since the return of the international duo. RSL went 1-3-2 in their absence in addition to being knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup after falling 2-1 at lower-division Atlanta Silverbacks in its opening match of the tournament.
- RSL MF Ned Grabavoy made a return to the starting lineup tonight, his first start since suffering a glute strain in RSL’s 3-1 loss to Portland Timbers on June 7.
- Plata notched his eighth goal of the season and remains RSL’s leading goal scorer in 2014.
- Tonight’s goal scored by Plata, marked Real Salt Lake’s first goal scored from open play in 418 minutes. Before tonight, the last time a goal was scored from open play was when RSL MF Luke Mulholland found the back of the net in the 23rd minute of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 3-1 loss to Portland Timbers on June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- RSL’s concession of the PK goal prevented RSL GK Nick Rimando from tying the MLS all-time shutout record. Retired GK Kevin Hartman solely retains the record with 112 clean sheets.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–1 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 1 1
VAN – Darren Mattocks – 73’
RSL – Joao Plata (Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland) – 81’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Yellow; Foul) – 17’
VAN – Sebastian Fernandez (Yellow; Foul) – 75’
VAN – Matias Laba (Yellow; Foul) 75’
RSL – Tony Beltran (Yellow; Foul) – 76’
VAN – David Ousted (Yellow; Dissent) – 76’
VAN – Gershon Koffie (Yellow; Foul) – 88’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Foul) – 90’+7’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (Olmes Garcia, 78’), Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luis Gil (Luke Mulholland, 57’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales; Devon Sandoval (Robbie Findley, 58’), Joao Plata
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Aaron Maund; John Stertzer, Cole Grossman
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4-4-2): David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey; Gershon Koffie, Mehdi Ballouchy (Matias Laba, 63’), Sebastian Fernandez (Pedro Morales, 78’), Nicolas Mezquida; Omar Salgado (Erik Hurtado, 65’), Darren Mattocks
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi; Kekuta Manneh, Andy O’Brien, Russell Teibert
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Weather: Clear and 93 degrees