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Monterrey 2-2 Real Salt Lake: Javier Morales Late Goal Gets A Big Away Draw

4133271809 901209c478 Monterrey 2 2 Real Salt Lake: Javier Morales Late Goal Gets A Big Away Draw

Photo by Scott Dierdorf

What a fantastic first leg we all witnessed from Monterrey, Mexico. There was so much drama on the field you couldn’t believe what was going on with the physical play, the goals and the yellow cards, but at the same time you were scratching your head at some of the moves the coach from Monterrey was making. But at the end of the first ninety minutes it was a result that was satisfying on the northern end of the southern border as Real Salt Lake pulled off the impossible.

It started in the eighteenth minute when RSL couldn’t keep possession and allowed Monterrey to make a run. The original shot was saved by Nick Rimando but he was well off his line and allowed Aldo De Nigris to convert after a rebound scramble. But the interesting moments after the goal were very strange. De Nigris goal celebration saw him lift his shirt, but not all the way over his head. He earned a booking which was his second yellow of the tournament and will miss the second leg.

But the strangest of them all was the double substitution by Victor Vucetich as he took out Luis Perez for Jesus Zavala and his goal scorer De Nigris for Osvaldo Martinez. It’s understandable if both men picked up a hamstring injury of some sort, but they were taken out for tactical reasons. Of what no one knows, but it was a very strange thing to see. Afterwards Real Salt Lake finally struck that big away goal in the thirty-fifth minute.

RSL was awarded a free kick along the near side of the field and Will Johnson was ready to work some magic again. His long free kick to the middle of the area found two teammates and it was Nat Borchards who scored on the header to tie the aggregate at one. More importantly it was a big away goal that was in favor of Jason Kreis side.

It looked good going to the locker room for RSL at the end of the first half, but when the second started it looked like the team in gold started sluggish. You hoped there wasn’t going to be a letdown, yet there was a problem when Jamison Olave tried to clear a pop up in the sixty-second, only he missed it with his left leg and the ball touched his outstretched right arm in the area for a penalty. Humberto Suazo would convert it in the next minute.

The final prayer was answered within regulation as Javier Morales had the ball near the area of Monterrey; he danced around the defender and smashed it past Jonathan Orozco for the second equalizer of the match and the second away goal for the club. The final score was 2-2 and the away goals advantage right now is in favor of Real Salt Lake.

Just as Monterrey will be without De Nigris for the second leg, Kyle Beckerman will be missing for Real Salt Lake. He too earned his second yellow of the knockout stage as he collided with a Monterrey attacker and was shown the card. Of course the big mele at the Monterrey net in the seventieth minute was not a pretty thing to see. Alvaro Saborio, frustrated, did try to score but he accidentally got Orozco which caused Jesus Zavala to put his hand on Saborio’s throat. Both received yellows, but honestly Zavala should’ve been sent off. If you thought the first leg was exciting, get your seatbelts fastened. Next week should be a blast.

14 Responses to Monterrey 2-2 Real Salt Lake: Javier Morales Late Goal Gets A Big Away Draw

  1. Alan says:

    Fantastic game. RSL seemed nervous at times and rightly so. They made it count when they needed to though. When the nerves stopped getting to them they showed why they deserved to be there. Here’s hoping that the MLS haters give some real credit to RSL for doing great in a tough situation.

  2. alaboston says:

    I’ll be honest, there was a bit in the second-half, right before the second Monterrey goal, where I lost hope. RSL played really poorly for a stretch of what seemed like twenty-minutes, to the point that I had to walk away from my computer as RSL kept absorbing the attack.

    Either way, good job RSL. I’m having a lot of fun cheering for a team that, before this I, really had no connection to. It really feels like watching the USMNT at the World Cup, except RSL has a chance at winning.

    • four4rsl says:

      RSL is a fun team to watch because they play a Barcelona style of soccer, focusing on possession, and stringing together multiple passes to create scoring opportunities. Offensive minded with enough skill to operate smoothly in tight spaces, it’s fantastic to watch!

  3. Robert says:

    Great game and good luck in the second leg, Salt Lake. First half was great but the heat got to RSL in the second half and defense was getting broken down by Mont. overlapping runs.

    The crowd look great! tons of people in the stands and was loud as hell. Lets hope RSL’s stadium gets packed so RSL can hold onto that 2 away goal or add to it.

    • four4rsl says:

      Robert, the game at Rio Tinto Stadium is already sold out. It sold out before tickets even went on sell to the general public from STH’s purchasing them all. This is great for RSL because there are no tickets for the large Mexican population in Utah to buy. Should be a huge advantage at the Fortress for RSL where they haven’t lost in 2 years (36 matches without a loss at home, longest streak in the world currently). Go RSL!

  4. Logan says:

    I also felt a complete loss of momentum in that second half and after the penalty was pretty certain that RSL was leaving with a loss and uphill battle. I was envisioning the game getting out of hand and ending 4 to 1, Monterrey. However, after that skirmish in the Monterrey net, I thought maybe RSL would get fired up and make something happen. That goal was a thing of beauty. I lost my shit when that hit the back of the net.

    And like AlaBoston, I too had no connection to this team (GO FIRE), but throughout this tournament they’ve wormed their way into the small group of MLS teams I can root for that don’t have FIRE on the front of their shirts–so long as they’re not up against the Fire or hurting their playoff shot, at least.

    Good for RSL, and hopefully they’ll hoist that Champions League Cup. I have not yet seen a FIFA Club World Cup, so it’ll be even better to watch one with a representative from our league showing the world it ain’t no f’n joke.

  5. Lars says:

    Actually it was Will Johnson with the assist on the Borchers goal.

  6. Huh says:

    I didn’t catch the game, but I am watching the highlights. Were they playing on an american football field? I see yard markers and everything. That’s plain weird to see a Mexican side play on a gridiron while RSL is in a soccer-specific stadium

  7. Ray Traunt says:

    As a neutral (DC supporter), I have to say I am quite impressed with RSL’s run. Jason Kreis is quickly making quite a name for himself as a coach, which is something very encouraging for all fans of American soccer. And, while I’m really pulling for my own team to piece a good season together, I would not mind seeing RSL totally run the table and see how much history they can make.

    MLS is designed so that virtually any team can win any trophy year to year, but having followed the Premier League for so many years, I prefer to see clubs like the DC United of old and now RSL build these dynasties from time to time. Not only does it speak volumes of the people running these clubs that they can sustain such success, it also adds credibility on the pitch for a young league like MLS to have its teams beating established clubs from Mexico and elsewhere.

  8. Stew says:

    I’m curious to see what effect the elevation difference (about 2500 ft) and the weather difference (should be low 50s) will have in the game. The weather definitely played into Monterrey’s hands Wednesday, and RSL still walked away with a tie. I’m thinking that RSL should handle Monterrey soundly this coming week.

  9. Charles says:

    Monterrey is very good, but so is Salt Lake, I still think that Salt Lake wins it all this week.
    IF you see a MLS hater trying to jump on board the bandwagon, please shove him off for me. IF they fall on their heads, it won’t hurt them.

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