Real Salt Lake lost the US Open Cup Final 1-0 to D.C. United Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
In what feels like a familiar refrain from RSL history, Salt Lake went down a goal and was unable to pull one back to level the match.
“We stayed out there to watch a third team celebrate with a trophy on our field,” coach Jason Kreis said, alluding to the Champion’s League Final in 2011 and the Western Conference Final in 2008, both of which were also 1-0 losses.
“It’s something that I can’t really put my finger on how we can get so close and how we can have so much momentum through the majority of the season and get to a game like this and can’t seem to put things together… can’t seem to get over that last hurdle,” Kreis said.
Salt Lake dominated the match from start to finish, registering as many shots on goal as D.C. had in total (4). The home side controlled 69 percent of possession, and had 10 corners to one for D.C. Yet, the only shot D.C. United put on frame went into the back of the net. That was the difference on the night.
“Another opportunity at home in front of our fans to raise a trophy and it slips by us,” defender Tony Beltran said. “We’ve got balls hitting the crossbar and balls hitting the post. It is absolutely devastating not to get something out of this game.”
Real Salt Lake started early on attack, earning its first corner of the match in the 2nd minute when a challenge on Ned Grabavoy in the box sprayed the ball over the end line and the Illinois native to the ground. Nothing came of the corner, but Salt Lake’s attacking mentality set the tone for the match. Salt Lake dominated the run of play while D.C. simply tried to hold on and counter attack.
Despite this attacking mentality, Salt Lake’s first shot came in the 28th minute when Sebastian Velasquez played a ball to Joao Plata as he slipped behind the D.C. line. Plata took a touch angled away from goal and his resulting shot missed high and wide.
Salt Lake earned another opportunity in the 41st minute when Javier Morales got taken out 19 yards from goal along the end line. Morales’ resulting free kick hit the wall and went nowhere.
D.C. capitalized on Salt Lake’s inability to score in the 45th minute when Lewis Neal pounced on a loose ball in the box and put it just inside the right post, beating Nick Rimando and giving the visitors an unlikely lead at the half.
Salt Lake came out in desperation mode to start the second half and repeatedly pushed the ball into the box. The first shot on target came when Grabavoy tested Bill Hamid in the 52nd minute with a curling shot, but the D.C. keeper was able to make the save.
Sebastian Velasquez nearly equalized things in the 59th minute when he dribbled inside the top of the box and fired hard, but the second year midfielder hit the crossbar.
Saborio nearly scored in the 81st minute when Grabavoy headed a loose ball to the far post. The shot was blocked by Hamid to maintain D.C. United’s lead.
Salt Lake fought through stoppage time with desperate attempt after desperate attempt, but the home side was unable to find the net and fell 1-0.
Category: Game Review