Alvaro Saborio and Kyle Beckerman each scored in the second half to lead Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 win over Panamanian club Tauro FC in CONCACAF group play Tuesday night.
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The win keeps RSL in the hunt to win its group and advance to the tournament’s knockout stage.
Winning came at a price, though, as Beckerman was shown a red card and ejected in the 72nd minute. He will sit out Salt Lake’s next CONCACAF match.
After a frustrating first half, RSL finally scored in the 48th minute on a goal from Saborio. Paulo, Jr. cut up the middle of the penalty area and tried to slip the ball past Tauro goalkeeper Alvaro Anzola. He got a hand on the ball and knocked it outside the six-yard box, where Saborio gathered the ball and chipped it in to make it 1-0.
Beckerman made it 2-0 in the 58th. He faked out a Tauro defender to create an opening just outside the top of the area, firing the ball inside the right post for the goal.
Things unfolded in the first half almost exactly how RSL would have drawn it up in practice. Salt Lake controlled possession from the opening whistle. It created one scoring chance after another and kept Tauro’s defense on its heels for 45 minutes.
The only problem for RSL was the team’s finishing touch. Salt Lake produced 11 shots and put four of those attempts on frame in the first half, but none found the back of the net.
Perhaps the most painful near-miss came in the 36th when midfielder Ned Grabavoy launched a shot in traffic from just outside the penalty area. With Anzola out of position, Grabavoy tried to slot the ball inside the left post. Instead, his shot bounced off the post and out of frame to keep RSL off the scoreboard before halftime.