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Saborio brace helps RSL cruise past Seattle in first leg

Oct 30, 2011 - 4:36 AM Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Alvaro Saborio scored in both halves to help Real Salt Lake earn a convincing 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

With the win, Real Salt Lake puts itself in a prime position to advance to the Western Conference Final, as it can still lose the return leg at CenturyLink Field and go through to the next round, depending on the score.

Saborio netted in the 41st and 53rd minutes to effectively give the home side the win, but Ned Grabavoy completed the scoring in the 88th minute to provide some insurance going into the second leg.

Real Salt Lake controlled much of the opening period, forcing several key saves from Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

But the breakthrough eventually came just before halftime, as Saborio narrowly beat the offside trap and took a centering pass from Chris Wingert, tapping the ball into an empty net.

The Sounders were visibly distraught, pleading to referee Mark Geiger that Saborio was in an offside position when the ball was played. But after conferring with his linesman, Geiger upheld the goal.

Saborio added a second on the opposite side of the break, bursting in front of net to meet a low cross from Javier Morales. With a brilliant back-heeled flick from Saborio, the ball trickled over the goal line at the far post as a scrambling Keller could not keep it out.

Seattle caught a huge break immediately following the goal, as Osvaldo Alonso escaped a red card after he appeared to raise his hands to Saborio's neck and push the striker to the ground. Alonso was only cautioned by Geiger.

Even without a deserved man-advantage, Real Salt Lake put the match beyond any doubt as Grabavoy followed a loose ball in the box and stuck a shot past Keller two minutes from time.

The win may have come at a cost for Real Salt Lake, as Jamison Olave was replaced by Chris Schuler in only the 32nd minute after sustaining an injury, and Nat Borchers limped off late as he was experiencing some noticeable discomfort.

The questionable status of two key Real Salt Lake defenders could be a huge plus for Seattle going into Wednesday's return leg, but it is also buoyed by the fact that the Sounders are returning home to its fortress, CenturyLink Field, where is produced a 9-4-4 record during the regular season.

  • SEATTLE: 0

    Oct 29 11:59 PM

  • SEATTLE: 0
    1st Half - 35'

    Sounders FC 0, Real Salt Lake 2  1st - 35'Oct 29 11:20 PM

  • SEATTLE: 0

    Oct 29 10:55 PM

  • SEATTLE: 0
    1st Half - 44'

    Oct 29 10:07 PM