Real Salt Lake dominated the Columbus Crew Saturday en route to a 4-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Salt Lake held 67 percent of possession in the first half and 63 percent of possession in the second half, making the resulting scores from Kyle Beckerman, Devon Sandoval, Luis Gil, all-but-inevitable.
Coach Jason Kreis rotated six players into the starting lineup from the group that started in Portland Wednesday. Nick Rimando, Beckerman, Carlos Salcedo, Gil, Olmes Garcia and Sandoval all got the start after missing the starting 11 on Wednesday for various reasons. That gave Salt Lake quite a few fresh sets of legs to deal with its third match in an eight day stretch.
If any residual weariness remained in Salt Lake’s other five starters, it didn’t show up. Salt Lake had 10 attempts on goal to just one for the Crew in the first half.
The home side came out on attack and nearly scored in the 6th minute when an Olmes Garcia counter-attack nearly turned into a clinical passing drill in the Columbus box. The ball finally found its way back to Garcia who fired hard on frame, but the ball was blocked away by Jairo Arrieta.
Salt Lake continued to attack through the first 34 minutes but seemed to lose some momentum without getting on the board. The Salt Lake crowd got back into things in the 36th minute when a series of corner kicks included Ned Grabavoy nutmegging an opponent inside the Columbus box.
Columbus countered the last corner kick with its only opportunity of the half. It happened in the 37th minute when Frederico Higuain drove into the right side of the Salt Lake box and tried to beat Rimando at the near post. The Salt Lake keeper made the save to keep the match scoreless.
Salt Lake finally put one away in the 46th minute when a Javier Morales free kick from just outside the Columbus box deflected off Will Trapp in the Columbus wall and fell to Kyle Beckerman, who redirected it into the net.
That sent the clubs to their respective locker rooms with Jason Kreis’ men up 1-0.
Salt Lake continued to attack in the second half and scored its second goal in the 51st minute. It came when Garcia got down the right flank and crossed the ball to Devon Sandoval at the far post. The Salt Lake rookie put away an easy sitter to put Salt Lake up 2-0.
Salt Lake piled on in the 83rd minute when a pass from Ned Grabavoy found Gil inside the box. The 19-year-old danced around a defender and scored.
The home side wasn’t done. Beckerman scored his second of the match when a cross from Sebastian Velasquez was deflected and fell to the Salt Lake captain. He put it away easily to finish things off.
Salt Lake will next play on Friday when Kreis and Co. host the Portland Timbers in a top of the west battle.
Category: Game Review