Lucky or not, Real Salt Lake will take the victory over Chicago

Defending champs RSL sneak away with nervous 1-0 win over Fire

Call it winning ugly or call it getting lucky, but whatever you call it, Real Salt Lake will take it, as the defending MLS Cup champions snuck away from Toyota Park with their first-ever win when visiting Chicago.

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Robbie Findley scored on a penalty kick in the 40th minute, and the lone goal would hold up to give the visitors the win.

Even getting to the penalty spot was somewhat fortunate. Although there was some contact as veteran defender C.J. Brown put a shoulder into Findley as the forward chased a ball down in the box, it’s probably not a play that would routinely earn a penalty kick.

Findley, though, felt that his feet were swept out from under him.

“He clipped my foot and I went down,” said the striker, “so I think the ref did the right thing."

Regardless of how he got there, Findley stepped up to the spot and calmly buried the effort in a manner that showed his newfound confidence courtesy of a trip to South Africa for the World Cup.

The goal was Findley’s third in his last three games in Major League Soccer. Though the forward also created two scoring chances, he couldn’t capitalize on either. The first came before the penalty kick, as he curled a ball around the keeper and onto the post. Later, just before the end of the first half, Findley saw a one-on-one opportunity go to waste, as he waited too long to shoot on goal and missed out on a great chance.

Findley left the pitch in the second half, feeling under the weather. According to RSL head coach Jason Kreis, Findley may be a little bit exhausted still following his World Cup participation.

“Robbie needs a break right now,” Kreis told Real Salt Lake’s flagship radio station KALL700.

RSL were also fortunate on the defensive end of the ball, as they were the benefactors of two headers that went off the post in the second half that could have given Chicago an equalizer, and perhaps the lead.

One player that definitely doesn’t mind the good fortune is goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who pushed his league leading shutout streak to 498 minutes, which include five clean sheets. He was only called on to make two saves on the night, but he did face many nervous moments in the second half as the Fire earned numerous corner kicks.

The hard-fought – and maybe a bit lucky – victory helped RSL to their third road win of the season. Furtheremore, they also pushed their point total to 30 for the season and remain within sight of league-leaders LA Galaxy.