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Despite late drama, red cards, RSL emerge from Canada with 1-0 win over Toronto FC


Real Salt Lake notched their first win in Canada with a 1-0 win over Toronto FC in a red card and late drama-smattered match.

Just before the end of the first half, Yordany Alvarez scored the lone goal of the match with a fine finish from the edge of the box on with a far-post shot. The shot beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik and a bunkering Toronto defense and certainly changed the dynamic of the second half. The foresight from Tony Beltran to find Olmes Garcia just inside the box, then from Garcia to find Alvarez was commendable, and the quality of the strike, unmistakable.

The second half featured two red cards — one to 20-year-old Toronto FC defender Doneil Henry and one to Real Salt Lake right back Tony Beltran. Beltran was kicked by midfielder Luis Silva, who was on the ground after being fouled; he then pushed Silva to the ground, and Henry ran in and, with an almighty shove, pushed Beltran to the ground. The scuffle that ensued saw a yellow to Robbie Findley.

Abdoulie Mansally came on at left back following Beltran's ejection, with Lovel Palmer scooting to the right. From there, Toronto FC threw essentially everything forward, including goalkeeper Bendik with the last corner kick of the match. During the five-minute stoppage time period, Nick Rimando made at least two vital stops and Nat Borchers made a goalline clearance.

Jason Kreis notably deployed his side in a 4-3-3 formation, with Olmes Garcia and Joao Plata occupying the flanks and Devon Sandoval playing as a fairly traditional number 9. It worked well in attack, but when they needed to slow down play, Real Salt Lake found things difficult.