for this game

Real Salt Lake keeps playoff hopes alive, blank Red Bulls

Oct 15, 2009 - 5:34 AM By JASEN ASAY STATS MLS Correspondent

SANDY, Utah (STATS) - Andy Williams made a prediction on Facebook earlier in the day, and then he delivered.

The Real Salt Lake midfielder wrote online, "ESPN2 tonight following the USA game. Don't miss it, I'm scoring tonight," followed by a smiley face.

Williams did just that, notching a goal in the 80th minute of RSL's 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

"I've done it before and it's never worked," Williams said about his online prediction. "I just had a feeling today."

Williams received a perfect cross from Robbie Findley and beat goalkeeper Danny Cepero for his second goal of the season. Cepero made seven of his eight saves before Williams' goal, keeping the Red Bulls (4-19-6) even with RSL.

Fabian Espindola added a goal in the 90th minute, his third of the year, to seal a key win for RSL (10-11-7).

The victory kept RSL's playoff hopes alive, and was also the first time in its five years of existence that the club beat New York. Prior to Wednesday, RSL had been 0-4-6 against the franchise, the only MLS team it had failed to defeat since joining the league in 2005.

RSL came into the contest needing at least a win and a tie against New York and on Saturday at Toronto FC combined with a win or tie by Chicago against New England later on Saturday to stay in the playoff hunt.

"It means we're still alive and we live to fight another day," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "Saturday's another Cup Final for Real Salt Lake."

The Red Bulls, well out of playoff contention, played mostly a defensive-minded game taking just five shots with only one on goal. The team played without starting forward Juan Pablo Angel, who didn't make the trip due to an injured ankle.

"The big problem was we were short-handed in the attack," said New York head coach Richie Williams. "But whoever we put in, we need to do better in the final third and have a better attack."

RSL had dominated the game, but hadn't finished any of its scoring opportunities. That changed when Williams stepped on the field to replace Clint Mathis in the 63rd minute.

Williams said he and his teammates, which outshot New York 21-6 with a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal, knew if they kept the pressure on they would eventually score.

The veteran's leadership was also critical to the win, according to his coach.

"He's done exactly what's asked," Kreis said. "I thought we were playing really well up to that point but we needed an extra spark."

During the national anthem, players from each team and the four officials wore white T-shirts with in honor of Charlie Davies. The U.S. national team midfielder was in a Washington, D.C., hospital following an automobile accident Tuesday in which he sustained career-threatening injuries.

Fans also showed support for the 22-year-old player by holding up white paper with No. 9s on them during the ninth minute.