Saturday, March 21, 2009

Real Salt Lake Defeats Austin Aztex 3-1

The posts at Rio Tinto Stadium started out as unfriendly in this exhibition match as they ended the season last year against NYRB. As you recall RSL suffered at least 3 shots hitting the pipes last year in the Western Conference Final. This year started out with the two first shots on goal hitting the woodwork. One of the two in particular appeared to be a sure chance at goal as Clint Mathis found himself in on the keeper with a late arriving defender. He made a nifty move to get off the shot, but caught the near post instead of getting rewarded for his efforts.

The RSL side featured a starting lineup of Rimando, Joy, Olave, Borchers, Wingert, Beckerman, Johnson, Morales, Mathis, Findley and Movsisyan. Ian Joy came out early in the first half as he appeared to pick up an injury, and was replaced by Beltran. The second half saw Escalada open up replacing Findley. He appeared to suffer an ankle injury from a reckless challenge by an Aztex player. Williams also came in for Mathis, and Horst for Borchers.

RSL managed to open the scoring in the first half off of a nice header from Jamison Olave off of a corner kick. The Aztex tied things up in the second half from a corner kick off of a ball that hit the ground and then was knocked into the net past Rimando. RSL goal #2 came from a nice back post header from Yura Movsisyan off of a chip in the box from Will Johnson. The final RSL goal came in stoppage time as the Aztex had pushed everybody forward. When they turned the ball over Rimando threw the ball to midfield to a very alert Javi Morales streaking up field. He came in unobstructed on the keeper and deftly chipped a ball up over his head and into the net.

The game had a few chippy moments as Kyle Beckerman and an Aztex midfielder had several encounters, one bringing both sides together in the middle of the field for what appeared to be just a minor shoving and shouting match.