One match. One point.
Real Salt Lake’s Desert Diamond Cup debut churned out a result as the club battled to a 0-0 draw against the New England Revolution at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., Wednesday evening.
RSL now sits in a four-way tie for second in the Desert Diamond Cup standings with one point, while the Chicago Fire lead the tournament after Wednesday’s opening matches with three point, leaving RSL, New England, Chivas USA and FC Tucson are all tied on one points. The Rapids sit in sixth with no points.
After a relatively quiet first half from both sides, RSL’s defense in the second half preserved the draw.
New England registered the first chance of the second half in the 57th minute as Marvin Ogunjimi collected a long ball just outside the box on the right side, turned and fired a half-volley that RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella held with a dive at the near post.
Coach Jeff Cassar made a big move minutes later, changing all 11 of his players in the 60th minute.
RSL’s new lineup notched its first opportunity in the 71st minute when Joao Plata curled a free kick, finding fellow forward Alvaro Saborio in the center of the box. but Saborio’s header was corralled.
The best opportunity of the night for RSL came in the 76th minute as Plata found midfielder John Stertzer making a quick run. Stertzer’s close-range shot was negated by Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
It was young goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez who preserved RSL’s point with a save in the 90th minute. New England’s Donnie Smith put a powerful header on frame from close range, but Fernandez’s reaction preserved a point.
RSL will take on its Rocky Mountain rival in its second Desert Diamond Cup group stage game Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s match will be streamed live on RealSaltLake.com and MLSsoccer.com. The video highlights above are courtesy RSL and video wiz Nick Lamping.
Lineup against New England: Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez, 60’); Tony Beltran (Ryan Neil, 30’; Rich Balchan, 60’), Nat Borchers (Chris Schuler, 60’), Aaron Maund (Carlos Salcedo, 60’), Abdoulie Mansally (Chris Wingert, 60’); Cole Grossman (Joey Dillon, 60’), Sebastian Velasquez (Ned Grabavoy, 60’), Luke Mulholland (John Stertzer, 60’); Javier Morales (C) (Jordan Allen, 60’); Olmes Garcia (Joao Plata, 60’), Devon Sandoval (Alvaro Saborio, 60’)
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