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Real Salt Lake at Arabe Unido - match review (with results)

CCL Trophy
CCL Trophy

Well RSL's habit of giving up an early goal in their CCL matches continues as within the first two minutes RSL find themselves already down a goal off a free kick that got over the wall and went near post past Rimando.  This hasn't been a deal breaker for RSL who have come back to get two wins and their loss at Cruz Azul was the most entertaining match of the tournament so far.

Arabe Unido 1 - Real Salt Lake 0

RSL is doing a nice job of moving forward with the ball and are forcing Arabe to play on their heels. A mistake clearing the ball by Arabe and Will Johnson finds the back of the net (he must have read @bommadog tweet about Liverpool). A solid ball on a set piece by Kyle Beckerman but it goes just a bit long as RSL really are doing a good job now of pressuring the ball no matter where it is on the pitch.

Arabe Unido 1 - Real Salt Lake 1

more action after the jump:

 

I always worry when I see Fabi talking to the officials but he got fouled hard and the free kick goes into the area but out for a corner kick for RSL. Nelson is going to be the one taking the kick, cleared out for another RSL corner kick.  This one is cleared out but fell to a RSL player (couldn't see who) but they fired a rocket that just missed the goal and the Arabe keeper looks very relieved.  A solid run by Arabe to get the ball into the RSL end of the pitch but their shot is covered up by Nick who quickly plays it forward.

The Arabe Keeper Marin has made a great save as RSL really are applying a lot of pressure. A yellow card for a foul on Gonzalez as RSL gets another free kick, if I had to hazzard a guess at this point I would go with 60-40 possession for RSL and again a big save by Marin on two shots from inside the area.  I guess Robbie Findley isn't the only one who doesn't convert every shot.  Russell fired the rebound right back at the keeper, but he made a big save, and now a collision as Robbie goes up for a ball and the Arabe player undercuts him.  I am hoping that the concussion he suffered a couple weeks ago doesn't flair back up.

Nice shot of the Arabe coach on the sidelines with his t-shirt and sweat pants on, a good run by Arabe and they earn a corner kick.  It was punched down by Rimando but not cleared out of the area right away and then RSL get the ball back out to midfield but Arabe is putting together their attacks from set pieces and RSL will need to watch out.   We need to sign the guy taking corners for Arabe, he is mighty good at set pieces.

Kyle fires a shot from the top of the box and another huge save by Marin as it goes out for a RSL corner kick, cleared and eventually the offside whistle blows and their keeper collapses to the ground.  Not sure who he ran into, but we say him on the ground a lot in the first match.  Looks like they are treating him as if he got the wind knocked out, and he is back up and looks ready to go.

More quality play from RSL as a shot is deflected and RSL get another corner kick and it goes into the back of the net and it looks like Saborio got it and that will mean he has scored in each CCL match.

Arabe Unido 1 - Real Salt Lake 2

A RSL player is down and eventually the ball gets played out and the official goes to check on "the Pretty" or Alvaro Saborio for those of us without a crush on him.  So the camera finally gives us a look at Jason on the sidelines and no tie or jacket tonight but a dress shirt and slacks has him the better dressed of the coaches.

We are getting close to halftime and after giving up an early goal, I have been very impressed with what RSL has been doing.  There you go another goal for Will Johnson and it is now looking more like what I expected tonight.

Arabe Unido 1 - Real Salt Lake 3

and we are at halftime.  They are doing a quick interview with Will the guy with 2 goals already tonight,.  I like Will, he says it like it is, the next goal could be the difference maker for either side.  If RSL gets it then they control the match and should be able to get the win, if Arabe gets it then they are right back into it and anything can happen.

As expected it is a very small crowd in Panama City, you have to remember it is about a 3 hour drive from the actual home of Arabe Unido in Colon.  The match is being held in Panama City because the stadium in Colon is not CONCACAF approved for a number of reasons.  When they hosted TFC a couple weeks ago Arabe played at a stadium with artificial turf, like their home stadium but tonight they are on grass and so far it has been a good surface.

2nd Half

Well the officials are back on the pitch, but neither team has returned to the pitch yet but you can hear the few fans that are in the stands yelling at someone.  RSL is heading back out to the pitch but no sign of Arabe, perhaps they are waiting on stretchers?

Ah now the Arabe players are coming back out, and we are almost ready to get going again, Arabe is going to make some changes to their line up, no they are going to make all 3 changes at the half and you know this is going to lead nowhere good, as they have no subs left.

Fabi is a step offside and the whistle blows and Arabe takes back the ball,  some good pressure by Arabe but RSL is up to it but Arabe is playing much better and now RSL is on the counter.  Fabi gives up the ball as he has two defenders collapse to cover him but RSL now has it back on the Arabe half of the pitch.  Passes are looking good, and as soon as I say that a weak back pass to Rimando almost has us in trouble.

A shot by Arabe but Rimando is there and cleans it up, the RSL counter ends up with a shot by Beckerman but it goes out for a goal kick.  Wow the whistle blows and he points to the spot and it is a very soft call against Beltran as the player was clearly going down before the contact.  We need a big save by Nick here, but not to be as it goes over the diving Rimando and into the back of the net.

Arabe Unido 2 - Real Salt Lake 3

You have to believe that this might just fire the RSL players back up as they had been a bit flat since the half started. This could also be a sign that the match could take a ugly turn if the official is going to whistle things like that.  RSL gets a makeup call as Russell isn't called for a foul in the area, but Arabe is playing much better in this half than they did in the first half, and another yellow card for Arabe on a hard foul on Johnson.  Now a free kick for RSL as Nelson is fouled about 20 yards outside of the area, RSL are going to make a sub as in comes Robbie Findley and out goes Fabian Espindola, who didn't see his number because the board didn't work and he gets a yellow card from the official either for dissent or delaying the restart.  Will is lined up for the free kick, and wow what a horrible shot as it looks like a "Ballouchy" that goes 20' wide and 20' high.  

Another free kick for RSL as a defender kept his leg in and fouled Johnson, Nelson takes this one and a foul is called as the keeper collides with a player, which is a shame because Olave headed the rebound into the back of the net.  Robbie attack and the defender kicks it out for a RSL corner kick, Nelson will take it and Beckerman's header is off target and out for a goal kick.

Another foul in the area as the keeper collides with Will Johnson, and the rebound is pounded into the back of the net by Saborio.  RSL really need to get another goal, as this style of hack and long ball could be dangerous as I doubt that Arabe would stop an attack if a RSL player were injured.  Findley is taken down just outside of the box, has to be about 2 yards out and a free kick for RSL, but who will take it?  Nelson but it goes into the wall as does his rebound, and eventually Will fires a shot into the side netting as he wants the hat trick tonight.

25 minutes left in the match and RSL are clinging to their one goal lead and not looking as dominant as they did in the first half.  Big run by Arabe, but the RSL defense holds up.  I still really think we are going to need another goal in order to get the win tonight.  RSL back on the attack but broken up but RSL get it back at the midfield line but lose it in the final third and Arabe is back trying to find a way to move forward.  RSL breaks it up again, Nelson finds himself just outside the area with 3 defenders to beat so he waits for help and Will is there but he held onto the ball just a bit long and back over to Arabe. 

Wow RSL dodges a bullet as they give the ball away in midfield and Arabe gets to the area but the ball is pushed away by a sliding tackle from Olave.  The first stretcher of the night and RSL is lucky there was no PK call on that one, but they got the ball by a hard midfield foul on Beckerman.  RSL are ready to make another change as Jean Alexandre comes on for Saborio as RSL takes a more defensive posture for the final 15 minutes.

I am not sure what happened but Fabi just got a second yellow card on the bench and he is out with a red card, which means he will miss the next CCL match, at Toronto FC next week.  Jean is showing some nice skill on the ball moving forward in attack but RSL lose the ball in the midfield and we are at the end of the match and there are an unknown minutes of stoppage time and both Tony and Jean do nice work to kill some time in the corner and get a yellow card for one of Arabe's players.  

Wow, RSL are dodging bullets with just a bit of stoppage time left as RSL is trying to keep possession and preventing Arabe from getting into their final third of the pitch, nice play by Warner who goes to the corner flag to kill some time but Arabe eventually get it back as the official checks his watch.  That is it, RSL pick up a huge win on the road in CCL play and now take the lead of group A with 9 points.

OFF MY SOAPBOX