Real tops Colorado in Rocky Mountain CupApr 8, 2012 - 3:24 AM Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Real Salt Lake won its third match over the last eight days Saturday as Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola scored in a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium in Major League Soccer.
Saborio scored his second goal of the season in the 20th minute and Espindola followed with his third of the year and 29th of his career, which tied the RSL team record for all-time goals, in the 57th.
Real (5-1-0) has won five of its six matches this season, with a 1-0 defeat to Chivas USA the lone setback. RSL will visit Sporting Kansas City next week for a showdown of five-win teams. K.C. has won all five of its games this year.
Colorado (3-2-0) lost for the second time in its last three games, and slipped six points off the pace of first-place RSL in the Western Conference.
Real took control of the first of three Rocky Mountain Cup matches this season when Saborio scored in the 20th minute. Tony Beltran played the ball into the penalty area, where Saborio settled with his chest and fired past Pickens.
RSL easily held its one-goal cushion through halftime and continued to control the match after the break.
Kyle Beckerman lifted an 18-yard shot just over the crossbar in the 48th, and Espindola had an open Saborio in sight in the 52nd when a last-second sliding tackle from Tyrone Marshall denied a sure goal.
Espindola and Saborio nearly connected minutes later, but Saborio was offsides when he headed off the bar.
Real Salt Lake would not be denied again before the hour mark as Espindola was able to chest down a Luis Gil pass, avoid Colorado defenders Marvell Wynne and Kosuke Kimura, and slot past Pickens from the middle of the area.
Pickens believed Espindola played the ball down with his hand, and it appeared he did, but referee Jair Marrufo let the goal stand. Espindola tied former RSL striker Robbie Findley atop the team's all-time scoring list.
Colorado nearly pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining in normal time as Martin Rivero dipped a free kick over Real goalie Nick Rimando, but caught the face of the crossbar.
Rimando was rarely troubled otherwise, as he made just one save for his third shutout of the season.
While Real will gear up for the clash in Kansas City against the East leaders on April 14, Colorado will have to refocus for a visit to Seattle Sounders FC the same day for its next match.
- COLORADO: 0
REAL SALT LAKE: 2
Apr 7 10:57 PM
- Real Salt Lake Goal - Espindola 3 (Gil), 57th minute
Rapids 0, Real Salt Lake 2 2nd - 61'Apr 7 10:26 PM
- Real Salt Lake Goal - Saborio 2 (Beltran), 20th minute
Rapids 0, Real Salt Lake 1 1st - 23'Apr 7 9:31 PM
- COLORADO: 0
REAL SALT LAKE: 0
1st Half - 1'
Apr 7 9:07 PM
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- Sporting continues home success against Rapids Jun 27
- Rapids roll into Kansas City to tussle with Sporting Jun 26
- Columbus hits the road to face RSL Jun 26
- Second-half spurt leads Orlando past Colorado Jun 24
- New York halts losing skid against nine-man RSL Jun 24
- Orlando tries to get back on track against Rapids Jun 23
- RSL tries to pile more misery on RBNY Jun 23
- Garcia leaves it late as RSL edges SKC Jun 22
- Serna's late goal rescues Rapids Jun 19
- RSL tries to slow streaking Sporting Jun 19
- West rivals clash as Rapids host FCD Jun 18