2010 MLS Replay – GAME 7: NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake proved to be the better team in the first half of this game, holding possession most of the time, but their effort was futile. Towards the end of the half they had the ball for 7 straight minutes, during which time they fired off 4 shots, culminating in a 45th minute shot on goal by Will Johnson. New York’s Bouna Coundoul manages to keep the score nil-nil going into halftime when he sacrifices his body with a splayed-out, full-stretch fingertip save just as time runs out.
It’s a low energy affair until the 52nd minute, when Alvaro Saborio takes over. He dispossesses Rafael Marquez who insists he was fouled. Upon replay it’s a clear case of Rafa’s internationally famous flopping and the referee was not fooled. With acres of green in front of him, Saborio elects to thread the needle between two defenders and into the 18 yard box with a lovely cross. Javier Morales is there, fires low and away and gets RSL the 1-0 lead as it skims past the diving Coundoul.
NYRB isn’t about to let this one get away, though, and they fight like dogs to regain control of the pitch. It finally works out for them when, in the 83rd minute Joel Lindpere ends up with the ball on the wing in Area C after his own corner kick is deflected back to him. The Estonian International punishes RSL’s famed back line for not clearing the ball far enough with a lovely little dipper into the net to equalize.
Both sides scramble in the final minutes, but neither prevails. The game goes into the books as a 1-1 tie.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alvaro Saborio
Not much to say about this one, other than it was a fun game to play. I really could visualize Marquez flopping when Saborio stole the ball and that play unfolded for me like a real-life highlight reel. That’s the beauty of these games, isn’t it?