MLS: Real Salt Lake, Vancouver battle to scoreless draw
Sandy • Real Salt Lake and Vancouver fought to a 0-0 draw in Major League Soccer action Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL finished the regular season with a record of 17-11-6, good for 57 points, heading into a first-round Western Conference playoff series against Seattle
RSL controlled the ball for most of first half, especially in the opening minutes, but it could not generate many scoring opportunities.
Real Salt Lake's best chances came in the sixth minute when forward Alvaro Saborio's straightaway blast from distance slipped just outside the goal post.
In the 38th minute, Saborio got behind the defense and fired a rocket at Whitecap keeper Brad Knighton, but he deflected the ball over the crossbar.
Vancouver's best chance came off a free kick from just outside the penalty area in the 36th minute. Alain Rochat put a sizzling shot on goal, but RSL goalie Kyle Reynish made the save.
The Whitecaps were more aggressive in the second half, and it nearly paid off in the 57th minute when Darren Mattocks headed a well-placed cross past Reynish.
Mattocks was ruled offside on the play, however, and Real Salt Lake survived the scare.
Moments later, RSL seemed ignited by the near-miss. Saborio had another clear shot on goal, but he was on the move and didn't strike the ball solidly. It dribbled wide.
Real Salt Lake recovered the ball and Fabian Espindola had the next opportunity to score. But his header floated wide.
It was the last genuine scoring opportunity until Saborio just missed the goal with a close-in shot in the 90th minutes.