Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RSL's Historic Draw

Real Salt Lake did the unthinkable and pulled out a 2-2 result from Monterrey.

It wasn't the result itself that was unthinkable but rather the way it went down. Javier Morales pulled a goal out of thin air, as he skirted past Jose Maria Basanta and placed the ball past Jonathan Orozco in the 89th minute.

RSL will go to Rio Tinto needing a win or a draw of 1-1 or 0-0 to get through to the Club World Cup.

Some initial reactions on the match:

Winless Streak Continues, With Asterisk: This was a draw for RSL of course, which kept MLS' unimpressive streak alive. MLS clubs are now 0-21-4 in Mexico but this one feels like a win. RSL twice fell behind but twice came back and pulled even. Typically - and RSL saw this first-hand - Mexico teams start to open up the throttle and pull away from MLS teams. Cruz Azul did that with a late surge against RSL a year ago, but RSL may have learned from that experience. RSl kept their wits about them when the goals fell.

Huge Goal: It's tough to rank Major League Soccer's goals and how significant they are, but Morales' strike has to be in the top five goals ever in MLS. Most other goals from MLS teams came in MLS games (of course) so for this one to come in the CONCACAF Champions League, on the road, in Mexico, in a final, when all appeared lost... yeah, pretty significant. Something to chew on: if RSL win it next week, the series-clinching goal could very well be the biggest goal in MLS history, so if the game ends 0-0, that means Morales' goal will have sealed the series.

Monterrey's Moves: Monterrey went up early but right after the goal, they were forced to make two substitutions and it may have saved RSL. Aldo De Nigris scored, was booked for his celebration and subsequently removed along with Luis Perez. Both players were taken out due to injury, according to reports.

Highlights: Here are match highlights. Good stuff from RSL.


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