Real Salt Lake beat FC Tucson 3-1 on the back of an Alvaro Saborio brace and a Devon Sandoval penalty, fetching their second win of the Desert Diamond Cup.
Starting with ostensibly their strongest lineup available, Salt Lake found the first 30 minutes a little difficult, and despite corner kick after corner kick, the first-half scoreline was a meager 1-0 for the visitors. The defense had fallen asleep once or twice, with Chris Schuler and Jamison Olave not quite gelling properly.
The first goal of the match — the sole one of the first half — came after some rebounding in the box, with Alvaro Saborio finishing a chance created by some great play from his fellow forwards, Olmes Garcia and Sebastian Jaime.
It was right as the second half started that Tucson drew level, with Jamison Olave getting caught out of position on a counter for the home side.
With the first-team getting only a planned 60-minute runout, the 15 minutes or so following the Tucson goal consisted of a barrage of Real Salt Lake attacks, and while Luis Gil never quite found his shooting boots, his influence on the ball grew as the clock winded down.
Tony Beltran's runs up the right flank got better and better, and he formed a great partnership with Sebastian Jaime that led to the second goal of the night — another from Saborio, who finished a Jaime pass with simultaneous strength and ease.
The transitional lineup, which saw most of Wednesday's starters reappear, with youngsters Fito Ovalle, Emery Welshman, and Ricardo Velazco exceptions to that rule, picked up more or less where the first-teamers left off. Luke Mulholland played in the most attacking midfield role, with Lucas Baldin behind him and Fito Ovalle filling the Beckerman role.
A 69th minute penalty call and ensuing goal gave RSL the lead through a measured Devon Sandoval finish. It was a scything run to catch a Lucas Baldin through ball to Jordan Allen, playing at right back, that saw the call made.
Continued pressure saw Tucson pegged back and Salt Lake comfortable, and the match ended a favorable 3-1. Real Salt Lake plays Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday in continued Desert Diamond Cup action.