Real Salt Lake went into BC Plate and defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on Saturday.
“Unbelievable fight for us tonight,” coach Jason Kreis said. “[The win] perhaps put us in a spot where we can contend for the Supporters’ Shield.”
Salt Lake is now at 51 points and finished Saturday night atop the Supporters’ Shield standings though Seattle held three matches in hand and was behind by only a point. New York is also tied with Salt Lake atop the table with one match in hand.
The victory was surprising because Salt Lake trotted out a non-traditional lineup in this match, leaving many key players home or on the bench in order to prepare for Tuesday’s US Open Cup Final. Still, Salt Lake’s lineup was competitive and filled with players hungry for starter’s minutes.
The lineup’s hunger paid off in the 9th minute when a pass from Olmes Garcia found an overlapping run from Lovel Palmer. The Jamaican collected the ball, drove forward to the right side of the box, and sent in a cross that Devon Sandoval headed into the back of the net.
“Lovel [Palmer] played a perfect ball, I made a front post run, headed it,” Sandoval said. “I give all the credit to Lovel; that was a perfect ball.”
Jeff Attinella preserved the lead in the 14th minute when Camillo got up the left flank and pushed Chris Schuler into a 2v1 situation with Nigel Reo-Cooker. Camillo crossed to Reo-Cooker who had a 1v1 with Atinella, but the Salt Lake netminder’s sliding charge eliminated the threat.
Vancouver wasn’t done. Russel Teibert nearly scored in the 36th minute with a blast from the top left corner of the box that Attinella was able to push over the top with a leaping save.
Salt Lake would control the run of play for the first half and escape with the score 1-0.
The second half was a chippy affair in which more than a few Salt Lake players were hit from behind; however, the visitors were able to keep their cool and control the run of play for the second 45 minutes.
Both sides had numerous opportunities to score, but all went wanting for a final touch.
Olmes Garcia tested Vancouver’s keeper in the 73rd minute when he fired hard from the right side of the box, however, the Vancouver keeper made a reaction save to keep the match within reach.
Vancouver had a good chance minutes later when Teibert drove down the right side and sent in a cross that bounced through the box and found Camillo. The Brazilian fired hard, and his shot might have gone into the net, but it was blocked by Sebastian Velasquez to clear the danger.
Joao Plata nearly put the match away in the 92nd minute when he dribbled slowly into the top left corner of the box, head-faked like he was going to pass across the box, and instead fired hard at the near post. Plata hit the post itself, and the ball bounced away harmlessly.
Things got chippy in the final minutes, but Salt Lake’s defense held firm to give the visitors the full three points.
“The result speaks for itself, we got a shutout,” Attinella said.
Category: Game Review