Real Salt Lake entered Rio Tinto Stadium as Saturday night looking to pick up three points versus the visiting Philadelphia Union. RSL was coming off a scoreless draw in Portland, and the Union had a similar scoreless draw at home versus the Colorado Rapids the week prior. The match included some good, some bad, and some crazy aspects.
First, the Good. There is a reason Javier Morales is nicknamed, "The Maestro". There is always a good chance Javi will score when he has a free kick opportunity just outside the 18 yard box. Just entering the 29th minute, Morales stepped up and bent his free kick over the right side of the wall, with a slight deflection off the head of a Union defender, into the upper corner of the net. Not much that Philly keeper Rais Mbolhi could do about it.
The Bad was almost as obvious as the good. Three deflections were very bad for RSL. The first was a deflected cross of the head of Kyle Beckerman, which headed straight at Nick Rimando. He was forced to make a diving block, only to watch Philly's Venezuelan forward Fernando Aristeguieta easily head in the ball before it even touched the ground.
The second off a Union throw in that was over the head of Chris Schuler, and he tried to clear, but instead kicked the ball toward the RSL goal, and the onrushing Aristeguieta who slotted the ball home past the far post.
The third was moments after Jamison Olave reopened his RSL scoring account at Riot Tinto. Olave slid and deflected a ball, that was almost surely on it's way to the awaiting arms of Rimando, which was redirected straight for the unoccupied net Rimando had vacated to make a seemingly easy catch.
Now the Crazy. Mentioned before, a free kick by Morales into the box from the right side about 20 yards out, deflected of Olmes Garcia, and immediately was headed in by, his fellow countryman, a diving Jamison Olave. Another "crazy" was the fact that Cristian Maidana's right foot left the ground on his throw in misplayed my Schuler that lead to the second goal. The last Crazy went against the Union.
With minutes left in the match, RSL looked to be moments away from taking the home opening loss, but a slight touch Maurice Edu on Luke Mulholland inside the penalty box, turned into a penalty kick for Real. Replays seemed to show it might not have been worthy of foul and a RSL kick from the spot, but either way, Alvaro Sabario sent the penalty kick into the back of the net for the 3-3 draw.
A fun entertaining match, with some Good, Bad, and Crazy plays.