The Seattle Sounders defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 Thursday, ending Salt Lake’s season on a five-match scoreless streak.
Seattle will move on to play the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference Final.
The loss marks a bitter end for a Real Salt Lake core that is facing changes in the off-season. The side played excellent defense against Seattle but was unable to get on the board.
Real Salt Lake came out on the attack. Ned Grabavoy put the side’s first shot on goal in the 10th minute when Alvaro Saborio found him on a run behind the Seattle back line. The Chicago-native got a bit too deep in the box and Michael Gspurning was able to cut down the angle, but it was a good first attempt.
Seattle had opportunities as well. In the 17th minute, Salt Lake’s defense crunched in to stop a threat and the ball fell to Christian Tiffert alone at the top right of the box. He fired, but his shot missed wide.
Salt Lake kept up the attack. In the 19th minute, Paulo Jr. got behind the back line and found the end of a Will Johnson cross; however, the Brazilian missed wide as well.
Nick Rimando made an impressive save in the 31st minute to keep the match level. The UCLA product made a leaping save on a free kick taken deep within Salt Lake’s third to keep the ball out of the net.
Morales put another Salt Lake shot on frame in the 40th minute when he took a free kick drawn deep in Seattle’s area by Ned Grabavoy. His shot made it over the wall, but was slow enough for Gspurning to get to it.
Seattle came out attacking to start the second half. This culminated in a shot at the bottom corner of the net from Brad Evans in the 46th minute, but Rimando was able to save it.
Gspurning kept the match level in the 62nd minute when a long free kick from Javier Morales bounced through to goal. The Seattle keeper made a diving save to keep the match level.
Espindola nearly scored in the 68th minute when he chased a long ball and got a head on it before a charging Gspurning could reach it. The Seattle keeper knocked it down and kept the scoreless match going.
Seattle broke through in the 81st minute when Mario Martinez received a ball at the top of the box and fired across goal, beating Rimando and finding the back of the net.
Salt Lake went on attack, subbing out both outside backs and throwing everyone forward. Saborio nearly scored in the 90th minute when he headed a cross on frame; however, Gspurning again was able to make the save.
Salt Lake saw another ball fly across the front of goal untouched in the 93rd minute; however, none of the Claret and Cobalt were able to reach it.
That turned out to be Salt Lake’s last good opportunity, as the side fell and its season ended.
Category: Game Review