Real Salt Lake 4, Earthquakes 0
Alvaro Saborio had two goals as Real Salt Lake got all of its scoring in the second half in a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
Kyle Beckerman and Jamison Olave also scored for Salt Lake (9-3-6).
''We're still looking for 90 minutes of good play,'' Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said. ''Tonight, for me, it was 45 maybe 55.''
The loss snapped a streak of three consecutive draws for San Jose (5-7-9).
Both teams were listless on offense for much of the first half. Salt Lake finally stepped up the attack in the waning minutes. Only a good effort from San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch kept the match scoreless.
Busch came up several huge saves. None were better than his denial of Fabian Espindola in the 43rd minute. Espindola hurdled over an Earthquakes defender and found himself with only Busch to beat for a potential goal. Busch came off the line to challenge Espindola and deftly knocked the ball away as the Salt Lake forward released a shot while racing toward the left post.
Busch came up with another huge save in the 47th minute when he denied Espindola at the end of a long sprint. Espindola tried to force a near angle shot past Busch at the left post, but he calmly parried the ball away to stop the chance.
Salt Lake appeared to break through in the 57th when Nat Borchers ran onto a free kick from Beckerman and headed it right under the crossbar. Borchers was whistled offsides on the play, however, and the goal did not count.
Saborio broke the scoreless draw on a penalty kick in 60th minute, sending the ball past a diving Busch inside the left post.
The penalty kick resulted when San Jose defender Bobby Burling brought down Saborio on a hard tackle inside the box. Burling was shown a red card and ejected moments later, leaving the Earthquakes a man down for the remainder of the match.
''That changes the game and it's a shame because who knows how it ends,'' Busch said. ''Our boys are putting the effort in up until that point. It's frustrating that a call like that changes the whole game when we are busting our tails for points right now.''
Kreis felt like his team would have broken through eventually regardless of what happened on the red card.
''I thought before that we were gaining momentum and creating chances,'' Kreis said. ''It was only a matter of time before we found the back of the net.''
Saborio made it 2-0 on an unassisted goal in the 75th. Ned Grabavoy tried to curl the ball past Busch and he poked the ball away. Saborio latched onto it on the rebound and buried it inside the right post.
Beckerman got his second goal of the season in the 79th and Olave closed the scoring in the 83rd with his second.
The Earthquakes had just one shot on gaol, compared to 13 for Salt Lake.
''A lot of it is they were not really putting too much into the attack,'' Beckerman said. ''A lot of their thought is defending the game rather than attacking the game. When you have that mindset, you're not going to get that many offensive chances.''