Photo Credit: smackdowntay (smackdowntay.blogspot.com)
If you’re counting the number of chances on goal, Real Salt Lake absolutely pummeled the New England Revolution. Real really jumped straight through the gaping holes in the Revolution back line early in the match and could have been up two goals in the first 10 minutes. However, RSL’s forwards seemed to choke and the NE netminder kept everything out of the goal.
New England surprised everyone against the run of play in the 22nd minute of play. Real had just had a chance at the edge of the Revolution’s penalty area when the ball was cleared out and central midfielder Shalrie Joseph played a ball through to Black Brettshneider. Brettshneider beat defenders Jamison Olave and Tony Beltran far too easily with one sharp cut and hammered the ball into the back of the net past the outstretched Nick Rimando.
The ball never should have gotten past those two RSL defenders. Jamison over committed to his right side way too hard and Beltran had just arrived at the scene after dashing the length of the field to catch up with the Revolution forward and didn’t have enough time to position himself defensively.
Fortunately for RSL, they were able to equalize the game as the end of the first half neared. Kyle Beckerman collected the ball at the right corner of the field and fired a cross into the mixture of players with his eyes in the sun. The ball took a few bounces, one of which struck Alvaro Saborio’s outstretched right arm. The ref completely missed the call and Sabo was able to pound the ball underneath the bulk of the players and into the open net.
The second half started well for Real Salt Lake. Early into it, Morales drew a fowl outside the 18-yard box. He took the freekick and placed it on the head of an unmarked, diving Saborio, who smashed it into the far side of the net. He celebrated by hopping over the advertisement boards and slapping the flag of his home country, Costa Rica.
Saborio has been under a lot of pressure lately from fans. There’s really not much they can complain about from the forward after he puts in two goals in one game.
His partner, Fabian Espindola (whose wife just gave birth to their first child), had more than enough golden opportunities to score on, but wasn’t able to finish. I honestly don’t blame him too much. He’d missed training the day before and, believe it or not, one on one situations are a lot harder than you think. Most of his one on one goals this year have gone right through the legs of unlucky goalkeepers. At that point you usually just want to hammer it hard and low. Sometimes the keeper gets something on it and sometimes he doesn’t. That’s soccer.
After the goals both teams were handed ejections. Will Johnson went in for a dangerous tackle and probably deserved the red card. But the inexperienced center official didn’t send him off. He gave him a yellow card. It was the sideline official on the far side of the field that actually came on the pitch and told the center ref to give Will a straight red. The red card given out to New England was on a challenge that probably wasn’t red card worthy. In fact, the Revolution player tried to avoid the challenge by lowering his foot. If that’s not poor officiating I don’t know what is.
The game ended a lot more tense than RSL would have liked. They really haven’t had an easy victory this season. Jason Kreis was quoted after the game saying that he’d like to be able to relax at a home game sooner or later and enjoy the show. Trust me Jason, us fans agree. But truth be told, the games are a lot more action packed and national TV must be realizing how much their missing after stiffing RSL this season.
Either way, a win’s a win in the end. Three points and now we’re tied for first place in the league with San Jose!
Real downs New England 2-1