Real Salt Lake used a second-half goal at home to leapfrog Chivas USA in the Western Conference standings on Saturday. Little separated the two teams on the stat sheet, who each generated more than a dozen chances and put five shots on goal. The home side held possession for less than three minutes more than the visitors, but one sequence in the second half was all Real needed to claim the full three points.
Chivas nearly stole a goal in the 35th minute when referee Jorge Gonzalez pointed to the penalty spot for a suspect handball on Ned Grabavoy. But with the all-time MLS leader in penalty kick saves in net, Real stayed level when Nick Rimando guessed correctly and stopped Edgar Mejia’s attempt. The teams tried throughout the half, but the match remained scoreless as they returned from the break.
Olmes Garcia, the 20-year-old Colombian who joined Real Salt Lake this past offseason, was the catalyst for the home attack throughout the match and instrumental on the goal separating the teams. The young striker pinged potential goals off the crossbar, set up teammates throughout and launched in the ball that separated the scoreboard.
Garcia lofted a ball into the right side of the Chivas box for Alvaro Saborio. Saborio chipped the ball toward the middle, where Javier Morales streaked in to meet the pass with his head. Goats keeper Dan Kennedy could do little to stop the effort, and Real had gained an advantage that Rimando and the defense would hold to the final whistle. In the process, Salt Lake moved to 11 points on the season, one ahead of Chivas USA and good for third in the Western Conference standings.
CHIVAS USA @ REAL SALT LAKE
Rio Tinto Stadium
April 20, 2013
- 53′ — RSL/Javier Morales (Alvaro Saborio, Olmes Garcia)
- RSL (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Yordany Alvarez; Ned Grabavoy, Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez/74′); Javier Morales (Khari Stephenson/89′); Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley/63′), Alvaro Saborio
- CHV (3-5-2): Dan Kennedy; Bobby Burling, Joaquin Velasquez, Mario de Luna (Carlos Borja/40′); Jorge Villafaña (Tristan Bowen/66′), Edgar Mejia, Carlos Alvarez, Marvin Iraheta (Giovani Casillas/58′), Eric Avila; Julio Morales, Jose Correa