SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, October 20, 2015) – For the second time in club history, Real Salt Lake has advanced to the Quarterfinal Round in CONCACAF Champions League. With a 1-0 win over Municipal from Guatemala on Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL won Group G in the Group Stage with a 3-0-1 record to move on to the Knockout Stage starting in February.
DF Jamison Olave scored the night’s only goal and GK Nick Rimando finished with two saves to extend his Champions League shutout streak to 526 consecutive minutes as Salt Lake won in its final home match of 2015.
It was a back-and-forth first half played mostly in the midfield as RSL looked to crack the defensive posture of Municipal. Salt Lake had four shots blocked in the first half – including two shots from Olave off of set plays – and the most threatening shot came when MF Javier Morales bent a free kick just beyond the far post on a 24 yard free kick in the 24th minute.
In the 39th minute, Municipal gave Salt Lake a scare as Carlos Ruiz got on the end of a bouncing ball behind the RSL defense. He smacked his shot out of the air and it curled just outside the far post for a goal kick, keeping the match scoreless.
That left the door open for RSL to break through in the 43rd minute when Olave scored his first goal of the tournament to give Salt Lake the 1-0 lead.
With Real Salt Lake battling its way into the box and earning six corner kicks, the Claret-and-Cobalt finally got on the scoreboard when Morales turned a corner kick into the box from the left side and Olave rose above the defense to slot his header inside the far post to give Salt Lake the advantage heading into halftime.
In the second half, RSL controlled the game through possession, but that didn’t stop Municipal from getting one clean chance that threatened Rimando’s net off a free kick in the 76th minute. Ruiz lined up over the 28 yard free kick and sent a rocket toward the goal, forcing Rimando to parry it over the bar for the remarkable save.
Things got heated late in the match as the teams battled in the closing minutes of the match, but RSL held strong for the 1-0 victory, closing out the home schedule and CCL Group Stage with a win.
RSL joins MLS clubs D.C. United, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC in the Quarterfinal Round of CONCACAC Champions League, along with Santos Laguna and Queretaro from Mexico.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-0 MUNICIPAL
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2015
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Municipal 0 0 0
RSL: Jamison Olave (Javier Morales) 43’
MUN: Dennis Lopez (Yellow; Foul) 71’
MUN: Carlos Ruiz (Yellow; Dissent) 74’
MUN: George Arias (Yellow; Foul) 82’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales (John Stertzer 91+); Juan Manuel Martinez, Devon Sandoval, Jordan Allen (Sebastian Jaime 78’).
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Abdoulie Mansally, Elias Vasquez, Luis Gil, Olmes Garcia.
Municipal (3-4-3): Paolo Mata; Luis Cardona, Johnny Giron, Dennis Lopez; Jose Longo, Claudio Albizuris (Henry Lopez 51’), Jose Longo (Wilber Perez 67’), Sixto Betancourt (Gerardo Arias 56’); Carlos Hernandez, Carlos Ruiz, Johnny Woodly.
Substitutes not used: Cristian Alvarez, Cristian Ramirez, Marco Rivas, Pedro Altan.
Referee: Melvin Matamoros
Assistant Referees: Melvyn Cruz, Jesus Humberto Tabora Alvarez
Fourth Official: Oscar Moncada
Weather: Partly cloudy and 54