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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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RSL: Former players pace Chivas to victory

By Chris Kamrani

There would be no reversal of fortune at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night for Real Salt Lake. To make matters worse, it was two former RSL constituents that had the biggest hand in maintaining the MLS status quo.

Former RSL striker Attiba Harris scored the eventual game-winner, and Alecko Eskandarian added insult to injury as Chivas extended RSL’s struggles in Carson, Calif., with a 3-1 victory.

Real, which has historically struggled against Chivas, saw its hopes for a potential changing of the guards fade despite a reasonably strong showing.

“I would say the results are misleading,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. “For me, the game was very evenly played.”

The defense was under constant attack from all angles during the first half, and finally the leaks were capitalized upon.

In the 32nd minute, forward Maykel Galindo delivered a quick field-switching ball to wing Sacha Kljestan, who streaked down the right side unmarked.

Right-back Ian Joy tried to recover while keeper Nick Rimando stormed out to challenge Kljestan. Joy could not recover in time and Rimando didn’t dive goal-side, so Kljestan smoothly placed the ball toward the far-post for a 1-0 Chivas lead.

Less than four minutes later, RSL had the chance to equalize.

Robbie Findley used his speed to sprint past a defender and send a lighting-quick cross into the box. The ball had too much pace for Chivas keeper Brad Guzan to make a play, and the ball made its way right to newly acquired Scottish forward Kenny Deuchar.

Deuchar’s left foot poke sent the ball directly over the goal, squandering a golden opportunity.

“We had a lot of really good chances,” Deuchar said. “But we’ve got to do better.”

A refreshed RSL came out in the second half with tremendous pace and tenacity. The game was now being controlled by Real, and it looked as if there would be a chance for a turnaround.

But the leaks were once again exposed as a series of one-touches left Kljestan with the ball. Kljestan then rifled in a cross to Harris, who slid in and knocked the ball past Rimando.

Real refused to go away. Two minutes later, Javier Morales sent in a whipping free kick that landed on the head of Deuchar, who shot the ball inside the far post for his first MLS-league goal.

From there on out, RSL looked poised to equalize. Offensive subs Yura Movsisyan, Fabian Espindola and Andy Williams were constantly threatening the Chivas back-line.

Movsisyan provided RSL with the best chance to get even after out-maneuvering a defender and sending a low cross that Deuchar was a step behind on the receiving end.

The final blow came at the hands of a former RSL forward who wasn’t even listed to play. Eskandarian came on as a late sub and made his former team pay. Late in stoppage time, Eskandarian received the ball and, catching Rimando out of the box, coolly dribbled around him.

He then teasingly looked back at defender Nat Borchers before emphatically slamming the ball into the empty net, resulting in the 3-1 outcome.

“I think (we) put (our) hearts and souls into it,” Kreis said. “I feel like we’re getting out of a game not getting quite what we deserve.”

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