Highlights: Real Salt Lake 2 - 1 Whitecaps FC
SANDY, UT - In their final match of July, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-7L-7D) suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake (13W-7L-3D) in Major League Soccer on Friday evening.
Two goals by in-form Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio - the first coming from the penalty spot - earned the Utah club three important points over the Blue and White at Rio Tinto Stadium. The result extends Salt Lake’s lead in second place to eight points from third-place Whitecaps FC in the Western Conference standings.
Whitecaps FC will be disappointed not to take anything from this contest after Darren Mattocks scored early in the second half for the visitors. Vancouver also finished the match with ten men after goalkeeper Joe Cannon was sent off in the late stages.
It was a hot summer’s evening in Utah, and it reflected in the pace of the first-half action. Salt Lake were unable to find the target from distance on a few occasions. The best of those chances came on 11 minutes, as RSL youngster Luis Gil drilled a shot just over the Vancouver crossbar.
The ‘Caps, meanwhile, were unable to connect with some promising attack sequences. Camilo Sanvezzo’s dangerous free kick missed everyone in the Salt Lake box on 14 minutes before a Dane Richards cross just eluded Mattocks at the near post on 23 minutes.
RSL took the lead in fortuitous circumstances on 34 minutes after match referee Kevin Stott awarded the home side a penalty for a hand ball on Whitecaps FC captain Jay DeMerit. Saborio stepped up to convert his spot kick past Cannon for a 1-0 Salt Lake lead.
Whitecaps FC tried to respond before the break, and on 38 minutes, Mattocks got on the end of a fine forward ball from Barry Robson. However, the young striker put his shot wide of the target.
That late first-half chance seemed to encourage Whitecaps FC, and their performance after halftime contributed to a second half that proved both encouraging and frustrating for the visitors.
Vancouver levelled matters on 52 minutes with a well-worked move. ‘Budweiser Man of the Match’ Young-Pyo Lee found Camilo before the Brazilian played a fine first-time ball into the path of Mattocks. The speedy Jamaican eluded the onrushing Nick Rimando in the Salt Lake goal before slotting home his club-leading seventh goal of the season.
The equalizer resulted in a spell of chances for Whitecaps FC. Jun Marques Davidson struck the post with a glorious chance on 53 minutes before Mattocks put a dangerous header wide of the Salt Lake net.
It seemed that a second Vancouver goal was beckoning, but it was RSL and Saborio that found the net again on 58 minutes. Javier Morales’ cross from the right found the Costa Rican international at the far post, and his header past Cannon took his goal tally to a club-leading 13 for the season.
Chasing the match for a second time, Whitecaps FC kept pressing forward and created chances through Lee, Mattocks, and Camilo. But on 76 minutes, Vancouver’s task was made more difficult after Cannon was sent off for handling the ball outside his own box.
Despite being down to ten men, Whitecaps FC kept searching for a second equalizer. Their best opportunity before the final whistle came from substitute Kenny Miller on 82 minutes. However, the Scottish international’s far-post header from Richards’ fine cross flew just wide of the target.
Whitecaps FC will take an extended two-week break before hosting Real Salt Lake in an important Western Conference re-match on Bell Pitch at BC Place on Saturday, August 11.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Young-Pyo Lee
Referee: Kevin Stott
34' - RSL - Alvaro Saborio (penalty)
52' - VAN - Darren Mattocks (Camilo Sanvezzo)
58' - RSL - Alvaro Saborio (Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy)
Shots: Salt Lake 10 - Vancouver 13
Shots on Goal: Salt Lake 2 - Vancouver 3
Saves: Salt Lake 2 - Vancouver 0
Fouls: Salt Lake 13 - Vancouver 14
Offsides: Salt Lake 7 - Vancouver 1
Corners: Salt Lake 3 - Vancouver 5
33' - VAN - Jay DeMerit
86' - VAN - Darren Mattocks
76' - VAN - Joe Cannon
Real Salt Lake
18.Nick Rimando; 29.Kenny Mansally (17.Chris Wingert 72'), 6.Nat Borchers, 3.Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 2.Tony Beltran; 5.Kyle Beckerman, 8.Will Johnson, 21.Luis Gil (20.Ned Grabavoy 56'), 11.Javier Morales; 7.Fabian Espindola (14.Yordany Alvarez 85'), 15.Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes not used: 24.Kyle Reynish, 12.Emiliano Bonfigli, 13.Justin Braun, 26.Sebastian Velasquez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Joe Cannon; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 15.Martin Bonjour, 6.Jay DeMerit (3.Jordan Harvey 85'), 4.Alain Rochat; 28.Gershon Koffie (7.Kenny Miller 71'), 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 14.Barry Robson; 20.Dane Richards, 22.Darren Mattocks, 37.Camilo Sanvezzo (18.Brad Knighton 77')
Substitutes not used: 9.Atiba Harris, 11.John Thorrington, 16.Matt Watson, 19.Carlyle Mitchell