CONCACAF: Late penalty lifts RSL to crucial victory in Panama

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Real Salt Lake needed a victory on Tuesday night in Panama to keep their hopes of winning their CONCACAF Champions League hopes alive, and they needed 93 minutes to deliver that victory.

RSL forward Alvaro Saborio drew a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time and converted the spot kick to give Real Salt Lake a 1-0 victory over Tauro FC in Champions League group play in Panama.

The victory keeps Real Salt Lake in range of Herediano for the top spot in their Champions League group. Herediano will take on Tauro FC on Sept. 25th before traveling to Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 23rd for the match that will ultimately decide the winner of the group, which earns a place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

RSL played without captain Kyle Beckerman, who was serving a suspension for a red card in the team's previous meeting with Tauro FC, and they struggled to put a goal on the board. Tauro FC nearly find a late winner, but squandered some quality late chances, which left the door open for Saborio to draw the winning penalty.

Saborio drew a yellow card in the match that will keep him out of the decisive rematch vs. Herediano.

What did you think of tonight's match? See RSL still winning the group, or do you think Herediano will record a blowout of Tauro late this month and put the group out of reach?

Share your thoughts below.

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23 Responses to CONCACAF: Late penalty lifts RSL to crucial victory in Panama

  1. A.S. says:

    Squandered some late quality chances is the understatement of the week. Tauro had a 5 on 2 and a 3 on 1. Unbelievably open game at the very end.

  2. Jake the Snake says:

    Thank you Concacrap refs

  3. C'mon MLS says:

    The pace needed to be faster. The play was too tentative. Still, the result was important. Winning teh game in SLC against Herediano w/o Sabo is gonna be a challenge. GO RSL!!!

  4. Jake says:

    I’m not sure that had anything to do with the outcome this time. Certainly not on the PK. It was a clear PK.

  5. Salution says:

    RSL still lacks that spark in the midfield.

    Other teams have gotten better, but they have stayed the same. They should have went after a pacy midfielder in the transfer market, especially for their CCL run. Their attack has gone stale.

  6. Aybar says:

    This was not the highest caliber competition. Real will need to improve to go all the way.

  7. JRP says:

    Beckerman was out. Of course it lacked a spark. It lacked a hell of a lot more than that.

  8. Gnarls says:

    Heck yes, they will. They look flat and uncreative; the antithesis of the 2010-2011 team.

  9. Chris H says:

    They used to be able to play possession in the opposing third with incisive runs and quick passing, but they have grown increasingly casual with their possession. It seems like they are content to just ping it around the defense until pressure comes and then drop it to Rimando who boots it. The movement off the ball and passing aren’t sharp like they once were. It’s like watching a poor man’s version of what they once were.

  10. Shaggy says:

    Whoohoo. RSL avoided CCL elimination for 1 more game.

    As an RSL fan I’ve lost all confidence in their offensive attack.

  11. Modibo says:

    I didn’t see the game or any highlights, but my first reaction is still that it’s a small miracle a CONCACAF ref called a penalty for an away team, even if it seemed obvious. There’s a long history of ghost fouls for the home team and incredible violations against away teams that somehow escape their notice.

  12. Kevin_Amold says:

    I don’t like this 3 team format, for the record.

  13. JScott says:

    I know it theoretically matters but I feel it is kind of a stretch to say that Herediano could put the group out of reach if it blows out Tauro. Unless I am mistaken, the first several tie breakers only involve the games between the teams that are tied (and overall GD is the 4th or 5th tie breaker). So, assuming Herediano wins their next game, if RSL beats Herediano by two or more, they will advance regardless of the score of the Herediano-Tauro game and, if Herediano scores at Rio Tinto and only loses by one, they will advance. Therefore, even if Herediano beats Tauro by five, it only matters if RSL wins 1-0 on October 23rd.

  14. MLSsnob says:

    What are the chances, even after the win, that RSL advances?

  15. RSLnPortland says:

    Salution is right. Morales never returned to form after his injury and our only threat is the streaky Sabo. The need for anyone in the offense with pace is clear and another threat in the midfield would change things dramatically.

  16. DCLee says:

    Hope this is the way they are doing things as it would make the most sense.

  17. SilverRey says:

    The first thing that came to my mind was that MLS/RSL finally realized they needed to be pushing some money the refs way as well…

  18. Vinz Clortho says:

    Inept in front of goal, but got the win…I thought the ref called a good game (I only saw the second half)..Clear PK, I just wish RSL would have put it out of reach before then.

  19. Orion's Nex says:

    Concacaf needs to do something about the promotion of these games.

    Tauro had no home field advantage. The stadium was empty. This game would have more exciting to watch with good crowd like most CCL stadiums provide.

  20. Chodilicus says:

    The problem is the two outside midfielders in the diamond formation. RSL has very little pace or technical ability there. Johnson and Steele are among the worst passers in MLS from the midfield. As a fan, I love their fire and passion, but RSL cannot be the creative, passing team they want to be with those two starting in the midfield. Grabavoy is technical, but way too negative in his play most of the time.

    Kreis needs to make some changes there. RSL needs players like Gil, Velasquez and maybe new signing David Viana. Maybe it is time for RSL to go get a DP that can be a real difference maker offensively. Beckerman and Morales are still as good as ever in the center of the park, but need more technical and skilled talent around them in the offensive third to get the ball to the finishers, Saborio and Espindola.

  21. George says:

    I think you are correct up until the 1-0 score line being enough for RSL to advance, I think they must win by 2 over Herendiano should Herendiano go into this final match itch 9 points.

  22. Georg says:

    All those questioning RSL’s midfield are 100% on, what is most frustrating is they have some very good younger talent on the bench but the coach wants to keep playing Steele.