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Real Salt Lake 2 - Deportivo Saprissa 0 - official match recap and locker room comments

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Here is the official match recap from Real Salt Lake:

RSL OPENS CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS

WITH 2-0 WIN OVER COSTA RICA'S DEPORTIVO SAPRISSA

RSL Extends Rio Tinto Stadium Dominance Thanks to Goals by Strikers Álvaro Saborío and Fabián Espíndola;

With Second Leg of Semifinals Three Weeks Away, RSL Shifts Focus to Opening of MLS Play Saturday at San Jose 

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) - If the pressure was on Real Salt Lake during its first performance in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals, it sure didn't show, as the Utahans came firing out of the gates and dominated Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa 2-0 in the first leg of the home-and-away series in front of 16,888 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL FW Álvaro Saborío bagged a goal nine minutes in against his former side, while strike-partner Fabián Espíndola doubled the advantage shortly into the second stanza.

Minutes after an apparent opening tally by DF Nat Borchers was called off for a questionable foul, Saborío would get RSL on the board in the ninth minute, as he fought off a defender towards the top of the area before pulling the trigger on a cross-body shot that bounced its way inside the left post. After assisting on the opening salvo it was Espíndola that would tack on the insurance goal in the 56th minute, receiving a long pass from MF Andy Williams and cutting back on a defender before slotting home from 16 yards out with his right foot.

Here are the video highlights of the match via CONCACAF:

after the jump more match info and comments from the locker rooms:

Real Salt Lake Match Notes

  • Rather than turning its attention to San Jose, Costa Rica - where Saprissa will host the second leg of the CCL Semifinals on Tuesday, April 5 (8:00 p.m. MT kickoff) - Real Salt Lake will focus on the San Jose Earthquakes, who will serve as Utah side's opposition for its 2011 Major League Soccer regular season opener this Saturday, March 19. Kickoff from Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. is set for 8:30 p.m. MT for a contest that can be seen live on KMYU 2.2 (Comcast 22 / Dish Network 12).
  • The goal for Saborio was his eighth in the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League, tying him for second place on the tournament's goal scoring chart alongside Cruz Azul's Emanuel VillaJavier Orozco of Cruz Azul leads the tourney with 11 tallies.
  • Williams continued his stellar form by assisting on both RSL tallies this evening, the second consecutive two-helper performance bringing his unofficial total of assists during 2010/11 CCL play to seven.
  • The win at Rio Tinto Stadium continued Real Salt Lake's home undefeated streak, which is now at 35 games across all competitions. RSL has not dropped a contest at its friendly confines in Sandy since May 2009, when Kansas City downed the Claret-and-Cobalt 0-2 in League play. During the epic 22-month stretch, RSL is 17-0-8 in MLS play, a perfect 5-0-0 in CONCACAF action, 1-0-1 in the MLS Cup Playoffs, and 2-0-1 in international exhibitions.
  • Center back Chris Schuler made a second straight appearance for the Claret-and-Cobalt, entering the contest at the half in place of DF Jamison Olave, who suffered an apparent right hamstring strain. The status of the defending MLS Defender of the Year for this weekend's MLS opener in San Jose is unknown. 

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - SEMIFINAL ROUND, LEG ONE

REAL SALT LAKE (USA)  2  :  0  DEPORTIVO SAPRISSA (CRC)

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2011

RIO TINTO STADIUM - SANDY, UTAH 

Goals by Period                    1          2          F

Real Salt Lake                        1          1          2                     

Deportivo Saprissa                 0          0          0         

Scoring Summary

RSL - Álvaro Saborío (Fabián Espíndola, Andy Williams) 9'

RSL - Fabian Espíndola (Andy Williams) 56'

Real Salt Lake: 18 - Nick Rimando; 3 - Robbie Russell, 6 - Nat Borchers, 4 - Jamison Olave (Chris Schuler 45'), 2 - Tony Beltran; 77-Andy Williams, 5 - Kyle Beckerman-C, 11 - Javier Morales, 8 - Will Johnson; 15 - Álvaro Saborío, 7 - Fabián Espíndola (Arturo Alvarez 87')

TD: Jason KREIS

Deportivo Saprissa: 1 - Victor Bolivar; 4 - Jose Mena, 14 - Roberto Wong, 16 - Gabriel Badilla (Oscar Duarte 88'), 24 - Ricardo Blanco; 8 - Walter Centeno, 20 - David Guzman, 21 - Armando Alonso (Mayko Ortiz 77'), 30 - Douglas Sequeira; 19 - Jairo Arrieta, 28 - Josue Martinez (Luis Cordero 72')

TD: Juan Manuel ALVAREZ

Cautions

SAP - Jose Mena - 12'

SAP - Jairo Arrieta - 30'

SAP - Gabriel Badilla - 37'

SAP - Ricardo Blanco - 73'

SAP - Douglas Sequeira - 81'

Ejections

None

Statistics       

Real Salt Lake

Deportivo Saprissa

Shots

13

11

Shots on Target

5

6

Saves

6

3

Fouls

9

20

Corner Kicks

4

3

Offsides

2

4

Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR)

Assistant Referees: Ricardo Louisville (SUR), Ricardo Morgan (JAM)

4th Official: Courtney Campbell (JAM)

Time of Game: 1:52

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 56 degrees

Attendance: 16,888

Post match quotes from the locker rooms:

REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JASON KREIS

Overall thoughts on the match:

"I was really pleased with the first 15 minutes and the way we handled ourselves.  We did exactly what we asked of the guys-to jump all over them-and they did that.  We gave them no space to breath and I'm really pleased that we capitalized in that first 15 minutes.  We put ourselves in a good place." 

On the play of Fabián Espíndola:

"Fabian started out this preseason just like a man on fire.  From the very first day of preseason there was something different in his eye.  He seems to be an extremely, extremely hungry player that wants to take the next step forward in this league and in his career."

On what to look forward to in Leg Two in Costa Rica:

"I expect it to be an extremely difficult match.  I expect that Saprissa will probably look entirely different, be a much more confident team in front of all of their home fans, and it will probably be a difficult, difficult situation.  We're going to have to be at our absolute best if we hope to move on in this tournament."  

REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD FABIÁN ESPÍNDOLA 

Overall thoughts on tonight's contest: 

"Our main objective was to score - and not let them score on us - and that's what we did. They are very good players, but I think our constant pressure on them worked out."

On what gave RSL the edge tonight: 

"We had a very good pace during the game. You run a lot in this league (MLS), and I think that helped us a lot."

REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD ÁLVARO SABORÍO 

On playing against his former club Deportivo Saprissa: 

"It's tough, but we have to win. You have to focus on your team."

SAPRISSA HEAD COACH JUAN MANUEL ALVAREZ

On allowing RSL to control the match:

"Well we didn't perform in the first 30 minutes. We never had control of the ball and we weren't on the marks that we set for ourselves, those were our main mistakes. We didn't have an adequate performance. We let Salt Lake do a good job and let them step on us in the first 30 minutes.

"We forgot to be on spot, and the other team was more concentrated and applied, and that's how it was. We knew we had to fight. We couldn't avoid the fouls/hits, and there were many calls that weren't justified in the game."

I have video of the RSL press conference which I will post later this afternoon.

OFF MY SOAPBOX