Claret-and-Cobalt Extends Unbeaten and Shutout Streaks to 3September 2, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Real Salt Lake
Saturday's sell-out crowd was RSL's eighth of 2012 - a Rio Tinto Stadium record. It was also the third consecutive full house and fourth sell-out in the last five matches in Sandy.
Unfortunately, the big crowd had to wait a while for things to start in earnest, with the game going into a lightning-delay in just the fourth minute. Area storms persisted for nearly an hour, keeping the teams off the field for a total of 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Things got off to a quick start following the delay, with both teams registering good chances in the early going. RSL had the first opportunity in the 10th minute, when MF Javier Morales nut-megged DC MF Marcelo Saragosa on the left wing before cutting in and firing a long-range shot that United GK Bill Hamid tipped over the bar.
DC hit back with an opportunity in the 11th. MF Chris Pontius had the chance, collecting a long diagonal ball from MF Perry Kitchen in the left side of the 18, cutting in on his right and flashing a curler just wide of the far post.
United continued attacking after its first chance, controlling most of the play and creating another opportunity in the 21st minute. Pontius was again at the center of things, pouncing on a giveaway by RSL DF Chris Wingert just outside the 18 before hitting a dangerous shot that Wingert deflected out for a corner.
DC FW Dwayne De Rosario had the best chance of the first half in the 28th minute. The dynamic Canadian attacker - who scored the 100th goal of his MLS career on Wednesday - led DC's break following a failed RSL set piece, running at the Claret-and-Cobalt defense and taking advantage of space in the middle to rocket a shot from 25 yards. The blast looked ticketed for the back of the net, but RSL GK Nick Rimando made a fantastic save, flying through the air to tip the ball off the left post.
RSL settled down a bit after De Rosario's chance, controlling more of the game and registering a couple of half chances before taking things into the break.
The Claret-and-Cobalt came out strong to start the second half, playing quickly and decisively before going ahead through Johnson in the 48th minute. MF Ned Grabavoy started the play, neatly flicking a ball to put FW Paulo Jr. through on the left edge of the box. The Brazilian striker quickly hit a cross, with the ball deflecting off of DC DF Brandon McDonald before Johnson ran onto it to head home from the top of the six.
DC put RSL under heavy pressure in the 15 minutes following the goal, nearly equalizing on several occasions after Johnson's opener. FW Lionard Pajoy started things with a chance in the 54th minute, rounding RSL DF's Tony Beltran and Nat Borchers in the left side of the 18 only to have the ball swept away by the onrushing Rimando.
Pajoy came even closer to scoring in the 60th minute. The chance came direct from a free kick, with the Colombian attacker curling a 25-yard effort inches wide of the top-left corner.
RSL settled things down quite a bit after Pajoy's near miss, keeping the lion's share of possession and getting a few good looks at goal. DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe had a pair of good chances, seeing a goal disallowed for an apparent hand ball in the 61st minute and heading a corner kick not far over the bar in the 79th.
Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio had a golden look in the 81st. The Costa Rican international ran onto substitute FW Fabian Espindola's through ball in the left side of the box and would've slotted home inside the near post if it weren't for a great diving stop from Hamid.
DC desperately pressed for an equalizer in the final 10 minutes but - while they looked dangerous - couldn't quite create any clear cut opportunities.
Real Salt Lake returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 6, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will travel to Texas to take on the red hot Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. RSL's next home game isn't until Sept. 22 against the Portland Timbers.
Major League Soccer Stories from September 2, 2012
- Corrales Brace Caps 4-0 Earthquakes Drubbing of Chivas USA - San Jose Earthquakes
- Dynamo No Match for Fire - Houston Dynamo
- FC Dallas Draws Seattle Sounders 1-1 - FC Dallas
- Chicago Fire Zoom Past Houston Dynamo 3-1 - Chicago Fire
- Sounders FC and FC Dallas Play to 1-1 Draw - Seattle Sounders FC
- Four RSL Players Called up for International Duty - Real Salt Lake
- Sporting KC Midfielder Graham Zusi Named to U.S. Men's National Team - Sporting Kansas City
- Two Chicago Fire Players Called up for International Duty - Chicago Fire
- Chicago Fire Honor 11 of Chicago's Most Influential Hispanic Leaders - Chicago Fire
- Whitecaps FC suffer away defeat - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- Claret-and-Cobalt Extends Unbeaten and Shutout Streaks to 3 - Real Salt Lake
- Sporting KC Comes Back for 2-1 Victory, Now Tied for MLS Supporters - Sporting Kansas City
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.