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Penedo stars as L.A. draws RSL

Nov 2, 2014 - 1:39 AM Sandy, UT ( - Jaime Penedo produced a virtuoso display at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals.

Penedo was called upon to make six saves on the night, preserving a clean sheet ahead of the return match at the StubHub Center on Nov. 9.

Real Salt Lake nearly opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Luis Gil uncorked a swerving and dipping shot toward goal, but Penedo managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Los Angeles should have nabbed the go-ahead goal in the 37th minute after a well-worked move allowed Gyasi Zardes to collect Landon Donovan's through ball and fire a shot past Nick Rimando, but Zardes was incorrectly ruled offside by the assistant referee.

Salt Lake wasted little time in testing Penedo in the second half as the Galaxy 'keeper was called into action within the first minute of the restart. Gil's low cross was directed on frame by Joao Plata, but Penedo managed to parry the attempt away with his outstretched hand to keep the hosts scoreless.

Plata produced another tremendous scoring chance in the 69th minute when the Salt Lake striker latched on to Alvaro Saborio's splitting pass to get through on goal, but Penedo denied the Brazilian once more by rushing off his line and blocking the attempt.

Los Angeles escaped danger again in the 85th minute when the visitors cleared a corner kick, but only as far as Luke Mulholland at the top of the penalty area. The Salt Lake midfielder lashed a shot toward goal only to see his effort sail just wide of the post.

Penedo's heroics continued until the final minute when Javier Morales pounced on a loose ball in the box and curled a right-footed shot toward goal, but the Galaxy 'keeper managed to get his fingertips to the effort and direct it over the crossbar.