D.C. tops RSL 2-1 in Carolina opener
Real Salt Lake
saw the defense of its Carolina Challenge Cup title hit a snag this
evening, suffering a 2-1 defeat to D.C. United at Blackbaud Stadium. RSL
striker Robbie Findley gave the Utah side the lead from the penalty
spot in the 40th minute, but a pair of goals from United FW Jaime Moreno
late in the second half would give the Black-and-Red the win in the
opener of the seventh annual edition of the preseason tournament.
After seeing the fewer of what little chances were created in the
opening 20 minutes, the Real Salt Lake attack began to turn it around
and find better opportunities towards goal as the half progressed. The
Utah side's mounting forays into United's final third paid off five
minutes from the halftime whistle when Findley slotted his effort from
the spot underneath D.C. 'keeper Troy Perkins, the chance created when
MF Ned Grabavoy was taken down in the box by DF Kurt Morsink a minute
Findley was unlucky not to double the advantage a minute before the
half, as FW Fabían Espindola played a perfectly weighted ball between
two D.C. defenders, but Findley couldn't adjust his feet to snap a shot
off, leaving the scoreline at 1-0 RSL heading into the break.
Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando was called upon right at the onset of the
second half, extending fully to his left to knock FW Danny Allsopp's
shot from the top of the area around his left post for the save of the
night. The fast-paced middle portion of the match would give way to a
drier final 20 minutes, partially due to Real Salt Lake removing all but
one of its first XI by the 62nd minute.
Moreno would even things up with his first in the 77th minute, when
Rimando did well to bolt off his line and stop a pair of shots from
close range at the top of his area. But he couldn't stop a third, as the
second rebound fell right to Moreno, who chipped Rimando from 22 yards
out to even up the proceedings.
The ageless Bolivian forward would strike again three minutes later, as a
corner kick was nodded down by DF Julius James right to the feet of
Moreno at the top of the six-yard box, where he easily swept past a
helpless Rimando to give D.C. the lead and the game's final tally. Real
Salt Lake's best chance for an equalizer came in the 88th minute when MF
Andy Williams sprang MF Nelson González into the left side of the area
with a crafty pass, but the young Argentine could only send his heavy,
near-angled shot square into the chest of Perkins at his right post.