CONCACAF Champions League: Cruz Azul Beats Real Salt Lake In Stoppage Time

SOCCER/FUTBOL LIGA DE CAMPEONES CONCACAF 2010/11 CRUZ AZUL VS REAL SALT LAKE Action photo of Javier Orozco (R) of Cruz Azul and Nat Borchers of Real Salt Lake, during game of the Liga de Campeones CONCACAF 2010/11./Foto en accion de Javier Orozco (D) de Cruz Azul y Nat Borchers de Real Salt Lake, durante el juego de la Liga de Campeones CONCACAF 2009/10. 25 August 2010. MEXSPORT/OSVALDO AGUILAR Photo via Newscom

It was a downpour in Mexico City as the rain came down hard and too many puddles were on the field at Estadio Azul. But at the start of the match it looked to be a bright ray of sunshine for the defending MLS Cup Champions in Real Salt Lake, but unfortunately it looked to be a repeat of officiating mistakes that crept in once again.

A long distance shot in the 1st minute was bobbled by Yosgart Gutierrez and Will Johnson ran in to convert the rebound, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Replays clearly showed that when the ball was struck, both forwards were behind the defenders and clearly on-side. But in the 5th minute a free kick was awarded to Cruz Azul and it would be Javier Orozco who sprung into a breakaway and scored.

On the replay the foul on Real Salt Lake was the correct call, but the ball was never stopped by Cruz Azul and Horacio Cervantes sent it towards Orozco for the breakaway. Already a terrible start for referee Oscar Moncada and his crew, but Alvaro Saborio who has made a name for himself in the Champions League has shined again.

He would convert a penalty in the 23rd minute after Javier Morales was taken down in the area and got his fourth of the CONCACAF Champions League as he took advantage of the puddles and caught Gutierrez coming off his line. Able to avoid the keeper, he scored his second of the match into an open net in the 43rd minute. But the best of the night from Saborio came in the 64th minute when he outran the defenders at the near side and crossed a fantastic ball to Fabien Espindola and converted for the third goal of the match.

Could you really believe this, three goals to one for Real Salt Lake? Was everyone in Utah and all of the USA starting to pinch themselves? Could this finally be the moment that an American club from Major League Soccer would finally earn their first victory on Mexican soil? Many were thinking so, ’til RSL head coach Jason Kreis started to sub out Fabien Espindola in the 67th and Javier Morales in the 74th.

That’s when the dam broke and Javier Orozco performed a clinic against the defending MLS Cup champion. He added three more goals within fourteen minutes torching Nick Rimando’s net and what was going to be a two goal victory ended up as a one goal loss. But Will Johnson still wanted his goal and within the second minute of second half stoppage time he equalized. It looked possible for Real Salt Lake to steal a point in Mexico City, but sadly it would be Christian Gimenez who would seal the victory for Cruz Azul and save face for the entire country of Mexico.

Outside of the first five minutes this was a decent officiated match and sadly the torrential downpour made the field look terrible with so many puddles in the middle. But once again the main problem with MLS sides is simple. When you have a good lead against a Mexican club side, never take your foot off the pedal. Victory and history was within their grasp and sadly a bit of overconfidence killed off any chance of an upset.

The next chance for an American side to try and grab victory on Mexican soil in the CONCACAF Champions League will be the Puerto Rico Islanders at Toluca on Wednesday, September 15th, but if they can’t do it then the Seattle Sounders, who just lost to Monterrey at Qwest Field, will have to attempt the deed on Wednesday, September 22nd.

15 thoughts on “CONCACAF Champions League: Cruz Azul Beats Real Salt Lake In Stoppage Time”

  1. ALL MLS team disappointed me this week all four of our teams lost cant wait next year till my team NY RedBulls win it all cuz were that nice riight now >>

  2. I caught the last 20 minutes of the game. RSL have noone to blame but themselves. Sheer stupidity, borderline criminal defending; a game they should have comfortably won, at least tied…
    Don’t get me wrong, it was very entertaining finale for the neutral fan to watch, but, Jesus Christ, what a waste for RSL…

  3. Did not get to see this game. I had feeling if anyone could defeat Big brother (mex) in his own home. RSL would do it. twas not so. judging by pics and highlights this was a great game to watch. Even though this was a lesson learned by RSL on how they should finish off games. It does my heart good to see a MLS side going for a win in the heart of mexico.
    I did get to watch the Seatle Vs Monterrey game. It was another good game to watch.Seattle had quite a few chances but could not convert. Monterrey Just outclassed and out smarted the sounders though. respect to the victors.

  4. I watched tuesday nights games with interest, the referees in both of those games were terrible and on weds afternoon I call the Concacaf headquarters (New York) and talked to one of the manager in charge of the referees at the game site and he was aware of the problems and that they would be looking closely at the game film. He seemed only vaguely aware that no US or MLS teams have won any games in Mexico and rarely in Central America, I watched weds nights games also (Seattle and Real Salt Lake) and the referees were better in both games although Real had a onside goal disallowed which is a common problem in games. I conplained to the Concacaf officail and also to FIFA about the strange calls and the fact that “playing injured” and falling down on the field “faking” should get the offending player a yellow card…. I told him that people were watching these games more closely in MLS cities and on fox soccer channel and fair play was a nesessity as we can compare referees in Concacaf Champions League to UEFA and the Europa leage refereeing and he understood……The Concacaf phone# is (212)308-0044 and the guy I talked to was Kent Howard…..These are all FIFA refs………In Weds nights games Seattle was completely outplayed at home by a rock solid Monterrey squad and Real Salt Lake blew a solid 3-1 lead on the road in Mexico City with 15 minute to go, giving up 4 goals in the 15 minutes and 3 goals in 3 minutes!! to lose 5-4 in a driving rainstorm so I coulding complain to much about the officials in those games………

  5. I agree Lloyd Seattle Monterrey game was a good game. Seattle in the end couldn’t convert ( what’s new ? ), gave up a dumb goal ( what’s new ? )
    and unfortunately overall the better team won.

    For those of you that are SOOO high on Europe this and Europe that and SOOO down on MLS….please explain to me how Blaise NKufo can be this bad in MLS and CCL games after leading the Dutch team Twente to the title, scoring 12 goals just a few months ago ?

    I would be shocked if he scored one goal this year. He got pulled for Jacqua !?!?

    1. NKufo had better guys passing him the ball at Twente.

      Nyassi and Sturgis are beyond horrible…I’d hate to see what percentage of their passes actually found their way to their intended target last night. Tough to get the ball in positions to score when you’ve got guys like that trying to get you the ball, especially USL-level talent Nyassi

      1. You have to be kidding with that post ?

        The Sounders created plenty of chances. And have scored plenty of goals since NKufo joined. Just not any of either for him….at all.

        My guess is their competition stinks and my great aunt would have scored a few playing for Twente.

        And DCLee I will swtich my opinion on a dime if he just needed more time….but I am guessing neither of us think that is the case

  6. Come on Rick. Excuses. Excuses. Nyassi was the only one that almost scored and I guess Fredy Montero and Hernandez are awful as well too. Try a better excuse.

    I think we need to give Blaise and all these DPs more time to gel with their respective teams. However NKufo looks lost at the moment. He has had the ball at his feet as well and either given it away or just tried a hopeless shot from afar. I think he is putting to much pressure on himself. Seattle at the moment looks way more dangerous when Jacqua is on the field.

  7. 1st of all, there is NO bias towards the usa. There is a bias FOR the usa because you guys get 4 CCL spots, and your league gets up to 5. Talk about undeserved! You guys get pampered and catered to. Don’t complain.

    Mexican teams are the 1s who have suffered ref injustices and Central American thuggery in this tournament. You guys haven’t seen nothing yet.

    Finally, DON’T call the Islanders an American team. That’s an insult to the people of that island. They want their own identity, they HATE being a “possession” of the usa. How degrading is that? A “possession”. Give them some dignity for chrissakes.

    1. Have you looked at their economy? If they didn’t have so much trouble, the USA would let them go. They need us to help them survive. But if the Puerto Rico government said no more, then that’s fine by me. Their currency is the American dollar.

      Instead of screaming from the outside looking in, how about actually doing some fact finding. I know it’s hard to do for you because you assume it’s always America’s fault. You also keep forgetting that Montreal who is not in MLS went to the Quarterfinals in the first CCL.

      Canada gets their own spot regardless if the club is in MLS or not. Always shooting off first before thinking about what you should say.

      1. That’s why I said “up to 5”. Do you understand English? Mexico gets 4 no matter what. They have no chance to bump that to 5 like your league does.

        So just because the USA economy helps Rich Port, that gives you the right to rub it in to them that they are a USA possession? What if you still lived at home (you probably do) and your dad rubbed it in every day that you did? You’d get pissed. Leave Rich Port alone.

        1. You didn’t read what I said. If Puerto Rico told our Government to leave them alone, it’s not a problem for me. But the Puerto Rican government wanted our help.

          Stop mixing politics with futbol. This is what I was told and that’s it. How about fixing your own problems in Mexico. Worry about yourself instead of worrying what the USA does.

          1. How about respecting the world football order? Rich Port has its own national team. Thus, you can’t group its club team’s accomplishments with USA club teams’ accomplishments. Ok? It’s that simple. Something tells me that if the Islanders hadn’t gotten farther than any of your league’s teams, then you wouldn’t be trying to coattail on their success.

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