Yup you knew it would be a long night when scenes like this were taking place early in the match. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Sorry for the delay in getting all of this posted, it was a combination of frustration and a busy weekend. So I will get this out early and then be done with it, while I can rarely blame a loss on an official who doesn't issue a stupid red card or an undeserved PK, I can say that I thought the officiating on Saturday night was at least inconsistent and at worst incompetent. The play which resulted in Tony Beltran getting a yellow card was a foul that was called in RSL's favor and the ref called advantage when there was any, then Tony slides in on a rough tackle of Hernandez which he is give the card for, the whistle should have blown on the original foul.
The yellow given to Kwame Watson Siriboe was a joke as he jumped to head the ball on goal and his eyes were on the ball and at no time was their a deliberate collision with the FC Dallas defender, it was instead it seemed like a reaction to the FC Dallas player staying down after the play. There was contact as both players were looking at the ball with Kwame going forward and John going backwards, but I don't see how you call a foul on one over the other. It results in a play in which George John was clearly attended to by a trainer but deliberately attempted to stay on the pitch despite the rule that players receiving medical attention have to leave the pitch until the ref waves them back into the action. It was only after the ref told him to leave the pitch that he did, and I believe he likely should have gotten a yellow card for time wasting, but that wasn't the first or last time FC Dallas players would do this, it started with Jair Benitez in the 4th minute of the match and continued all night long.
Now this play results in actually two yellows for RSL, the second would come later but you can see Juan Guzman the official start to react to Fabian Espindola's complaint about the card. That would continue as just a couple minutes later when a semi foul by Daniel Hernandez goes uncalled but a similar play just seconds later by Fabi is called, that is the inconsistency that drives players (and me nuts). Then in what should have been a clear yellow to Kevin Hartman for delaying the restart, the ball goes out for a goal kick at 24:03, but Hartman waits to start while Benitez gets a drink and has a chat with Schellas Hyndman, 30 seconds after the ball goes out and FC Dallas hasn't restarted the match a yellow is given to Fabi for dissent. Nothing is said to FC Dallas for delaying the start of the match, again something they would do all night long, that play took them over 1 minute to restart from the time the ball went out until the ball was back in play.
After the jump, more thoughts and the official match recap:
It was that type of thing all night, combined with FC Dallas playing it up on tackles all night long that resulted in a match that I believe Juan Guzam thought RSL was slighting him and he called the match as such, but in the second half a lot of things went uncalled that looked like fouls against both teams. Perhaps the controversy of the night is the late non-handball call against Jackson on a cross by Tony Beltran, now the camera angle sucks on this play but I was at most 7-10 yards from it and while Jackson jumped up, and sure looked like it hit his arm to me and bounced down. Now the AR had a good angle on this play as well but indicated nothing, I talked to a couple of photographers with similar angles and two thought it was a hand ball and two didn't see the play. The fans behind me seemed to think it was a handball, but no call was made. That play in stoppage time directly lead to the winning goal for FC Dallas, it was typical of what I think was a very inconsistently called match. RSL had plenty of chances on the night but to me this was a match that simply was impacted the entire 90 plus minutes by an inexperienced official who started out calling a tight match and then simply refused to make many calls after giving 3 yellows in short order in the first half.
So another loss at home for RSL, one in which they had plenty of chances and one in which we saw FC Dallas play like a team that was tired and looking for every advantage they could get and it worked for them. I thought on a night where RSL dominated every stat except the final score we can see how it was frustrating for the team, staff and fans and heading into Tuesday's CCL match on has to hope for better finishing.
Here is the official match recap from RSL Communications:
RSL ALLOWS STOPPAGE TIME WINNER TO FALL 2-1 TO FC DALLAS
David Ferriera's 94th-Minute Stunner Sends RSL to 4th-Straight Loss
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012) - Real Salt Lake (13-10-3, 42 points, West #2) lost in brutal fashion on Saturday night, conceding a stoppage-time winner to fall 2-1 to FC Dallas (8-11-8, 32 points, West #6) in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium. The loss is the fourth-straight across all competitions for Real Salt Lake.
MF David Ferreira scored the decisive goal for Dallas, finishing a counterattack by collecting MF Brek Shea's pass and slamming a 15-yard shot inside the top right corner in the 94th minute.
RSL ran out a makeshift starting lineup, beginning the game with captain Kyle Beckerman, leading scorer Álvaro Saborío and regular MF Will Johnson on the bench after all three played 90 minutes for their respective national teams on Wednesday.
Despite the provisional first XI, RSL was the better team for the entire game, dictating the play and creating a multitude of chances. The Claret-and-Cobalt had its first opportunity in the 11th minute. MF Javier Morales played FW Fabían Espíndola in on the left edge of the area, allowing the Argentine striker to rip a first-time shot to the near post that Dallas GK Kevin Hartman parried away for a corner.
The match got a bit heated in the next 15 minutes. Both sides went in hard on several challenges, leading to some frayed nerves on the field and three yellow cards for RSL - one each for DF Tony Beltran, DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Espíndola.
Espíndola nearly put RSL up 1-0 in the 30th minute. He collected MF Yordany Alvarez's pass at the top-right corner of the 18 and cut in on his left foot, ripping a low 20-yarder to the near post that Hartman tipped away with a fine diving save.
Real Salt Lake kept the pressure on after Espíndola's chance, coming close again in the 35th minute. Beltran had the chance, absolutely ripping a long range curler from the right side that Hartman did incredibly well to tip away.
Beltran's chance took the game into halftime, which saw both sides make a change. RSL brought Saborío on for the yellow-carded Espindola and Dallas inserted FW Jackson for FW Jonathan Top.
RSL started the second half brightly, attacking the Dallas goal with tenacity. The Claret-and-Cobalt had its first chance of the second frame in the 51st minute, when Saborío dribbled into the left side of the area before hitting a low shot that the onrushing Hartman blocked.
Saborío had a golden opportunity in the 55th minute, getting on the end of a Morales free kick for a free header from the penalty spot. Unfortunately, the Costa Rican international couldn't do anything with the chance, meekly heading wide of the left post.
Dallas made RSL pay for not taking advantage of its opportunities in the 61st minute, when MF Fabian Castillo scored against the run of play to put FCD up 1-0. Castillo combined with fellow Colombian MF David Ferreira on the play, connecting on a give-and-go with the 2010 MLS MVP to round Beltran on the left side of the box before curling a shot inside the far post from a tight angle.
Dallas got a boost from the goal, getting good looks in both the 68th and 72nd minutes. RSL GK Nick Rimando came up big on the second chance, diving to his right to keep out a low drive from Castillo.
RSL turned the pressure way up after Castillo's 72nd minute opportunity and came incredibly close to equalizing in the 75th minute. Watson-Siriboe got on the end of a Morales corner at the right post and hit a powerful header to the far post only for FCD DF Jair Benitez to clear the ball off the line.
The Claret-and-Cobalt didn't have to wait much longer for the equalizer, getting a goal from Saborío on the ensuing corner to tie the game at 1-1. Morales had the assist, hitting a corner to the right post that Saborío nodded past Hartman and inside the far post.
RSL pushed hard for the win after Saborío's goal, but couldn't quite find it, eventually getting caught out on another counter to set up Ferreira's winner. Shea led the break, collecting a pass on the left wing and switching fields to Ferreira to set the Colombian up for his screamer of a goal.
The Claret-and-Cobalt return to action on Tuesday, when they'll host Panamanian champs Tauro FC in a crucial CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage battle at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes - RSL 1-FCD 2
- Saturday's loss is RSL's fourth-straight defeat across all competitions. The team hasn't won a game in over three weeks, last picking up three points in the July 27 2-1 home win over Vancouver.
- Ferreira's stoppage time winner gives FCD a bit of revenge on RSL, which got a stoppage time winner of its own from DF Nat Borchers in the Claret-and-Cobalt's 3-2 home win over Dallas on May 26.
- RSL finishes its regular season series with Dallas with a 1-1-1 mark. As mentioned above, the Claret-and-Cobalt beat FCD at home on May 26 - the sides tied 1-1 in their first meeting of 2012 on April 25 at FC Dallas Stadium.
- Saturday's game kicked off a busy three-game in six-day stretch that will see RSL take on Tauro in the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage on Tuesday and travel to Philadelphia for a league date with the Union on Friday.
- FW Álvaro Saborío's 76th minute tally gives him 14 goals in league play, four behind San Jose's Chris Wondolowski in the race for the Golden Boot.
- RSL FW and Salt Lake City native Justin Braun made his home debut on Saturday night, coming on in the 67th minute for FW Paulo Jr. Braun, who was acquired on July 11 in a trade with Montreal, had one previous RSL appearance, starting the Claret-and-Cobalt's Aug. 4 loss at Colorado.
- Real Salt Lake had four regulars start on the bench, with captain Kyle Beckerman, leading scorer Alvaro Saborio, MF Will Johnson and DF Jamison Olave all out of the first XI. Beckerman, Saborio and Johnson were available off the bench after going 90 minutes for their respective national teams on Wednesday while Olave was out with a hamstring injury suffered on July 31.
- A very limited number of tickets remain for Tuesday's CCL match against Tauro. Tickets can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling 801-727-2700 Mon-Sat during business hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office or the RSL Team Store (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) on the northeast corner of the Stadium.
OK, there you go, not a night that many RSL fans will want to remember as the struggles to get results continue as RSL still sits 5 points out of the top spot in the Western Conference and overall league standings as well, the gap with 3rd place Seattle is now just 2 points and the Sounders have 2 matches in hand. The final 8 MLS matches are going to be very interesting.
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