Real Salt Lake 2, New York Red Bulls 0
The New York Red Bulls defense was under pressure most of the night from a Real Salt Lake team desperate for points to keep their postseason hopes alive, and the Red Bulls kept Salt Lake off the scoreboard for 80 minutes before conceding two late goals in a 2-0 defeat tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium in the final road match of the season for New York.
Two early offsides calls on Fabian Espindola let New York know Real Salt Lake was going to attack early and often. Espindola had the first chance of the match in the sixth minute, putting a shot from the edge of the area into side netting. Real Salt Lake carried play for much of the first half, creating several dangerous scoring chances, but Danny Cepero was up to the task each time.
In the 12th minute following a Red Bull foul, Javier Morales bent a free kick from 30 yards out that Cepero pushed wide with a full extension dive to his left. Just past the half hour mark, Espindola snaked a shot between two defenders that Cepero was able to get in front of, but he could not control the rebound. However, he was able to parry aside Yura Movsisyan's follow from close range. Off the ensuing corner kick, Will Johnson found the ball at his feet 25 yards from goal, but Cepero made an athletic kick save reaching back to his left to keep the ball out of the net.
Macoumba Kandji had New York’s best chance of the first half in the 35th minute, breaking wide into the area on the left side with room to shoot, but his pushed his try from an acute angle wide.
Just before the break, Espindola again challenged Cepero, placing one towards the far corner, but Cepero was able to get his fingertips on it to push it wide, keeping the game scoreless into the half.
Celades attempted to chip Rimando in the area off a Hall back heel, but he put the ball onto the top of the goal.
Salt Lake pressured the New York end relentlessly in the second half, but the Red Bull defensive unit held strong during several sustained efforts before Real Salt Lake finally got on the board in the 80th minute. On a counter after a Carlos Johnson shot was blocked by Olave in the Salt Lake area, Robbie Findley carried the ball down the right side a hit a cross that Andy Williams knocked past Cepero with a sliding shot to give Real Salt Lake the lead.
With New York pushing forward, Espindola put the game away in the 90th minute, curling a shot past Cepero to the far post.
New York Red Bulls 0, Real Salt Lake 2
October 14, 2009 – Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, UT
RSL: Andy Williams 2 (Robbie Findley 3, Jamison Olave 1) 80’
RSL: Fabian Espindola 3 (unassisted) 90’
RSL: Tony Beltran (caution) 3’
NY: Danleigh Borman (caution) 39’
RSL: Will Johnson (caution) 59’
NY: Andrew Boyens (caution) 86’
New York Red Bulls (4-19-6, 18 pts.): Danny Cepero, Danleigh Borman (Ernst Oebster 87’), Mike Petke, Andrew Boyens, Carlos Johnson, Seth Stammler, Jeremy Hall (Matthew Mbuta 83’), Albert Celades, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dane Richards, Macoumba Kandji.
Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Leo Krupnik, Walter Garcia, Nick Zimmerman, Luke Sassano.
Real Salt Lake (10-11-7, 37 pts.): Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Javier Morales (Ned Grabavoy 83’) , Clint Mathis (Andy Williams 63’), Fabian Espindola, Yua Movsisyan (Robbie Findley 69’).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Robbie Russell, Pablo Campos, Nelson Gonzalez.
Referee: Baldomere Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Fabio Tovar
4th Referee: Tyler Ploeger