Sandy • No one shot attempt sums up Real Salt Lake's frustrations Saturday night more than Alvaro Saborio's in the 85th minute.
The RSL striker found himself in prime position behind the Chivas USA defense. As goalkeeper Dan Kennedy charged in a desperate attempt to cut the angle, Saborio chipped the ball toward goal.
Saborio's attempt was too strong, or maybe the shot needed more arc. Either way, the ball skipped off the crossbar like a flat rock on water. With it went one of Real's best chances in a stunning 1-0 loss to Chivas at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"That's soccer," a rueful Javier Morales said afterward. "We have no excuse. We just have to work harder than before."
Meanwhile, as a handful of RSL (2-0-1) attempts to score went begging, the Goats (1-0-2) needed just one. Casey Townsend's reaction shot to a loose ball in front of the goal in the 72nd minute took the life out of Salt Lake's first sellout of the season and the fourth-largest crowd ever to watch an RSL game 20,415.
A look at the stat sheet reveals that both team found the target three times. It didn't feel that way, as RSL took twice as many shots as Chivas.
There was no count as to how many times Real was one pass away from splitting the Chivas USA defense wide open.
"We were a half of a step off," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "We got into some great spots and if somebody makes a pass that's a half a step to the right or to the left, if the ball bounces the right way for somebody, then we have a goal and maybe we're rolling forward from there."
Real Salt Lake looked to have that goal in the 10th minute, when Chris Schuler beat Kennedy on a quick restart. However, referee Mark Kadlecik waved off the score.
Kreis didn't have an answer for why, except saying the fourth official told him the Goats hadn't retreated 10 yards. Kreis said he would have been surprised had RSL asked for the 10 yards, being 30 yards from goal.
That being said, RSL had other chances. In the 22nd minute, Kennedy made a great, outstretched save of an Espindola attempt.
Saborio and Espindola had a few more chances late.
"The little details," Morales said. "Maybe one or two feet the other way. They only had one chance, and they took it."
• Real Salt Lake outshoots Chivas USA 13-6, though both teams put three shots on target.
• A RSL goal in the 10th minute by Chris Schuler is waved off by the referee.