for this game

Nunez lifts Real Salt Lake over Revolution

Jun 22, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Timo Nunez chose the perfect time to score his first MLS goal.

The rookie forward, who had played just 62 minutes all season coming into Saturday's match, broke a tie with an opportunistic second-half goal to lead Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 victory over the league's top team, the New England Revolution.

With the victory, the team extended its unbeaten streak to five games and, coupled with Houston's draw against Colorado, pushed Salt Lake (5-5-4) into second place in the Western Conference.

"Huge win. I'm very, very pleased for the players," Real coach Jason Kreis said. "What's most pleasing about the win tonight is how we handled ourselves when we had the one-goal lead. We finished that game off the way a good team does."

Nunez did not start but was forced into the lineup when starting forward Robbie Findley suffered a head injury after a collision late in the first half.

The substitution paid off in the 60th minute, when Javier Morales' pass deflected off New England's defender deep in Revolution territory. Nunez found himself in perfect position, 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Matt Reis.

"My eyes just opened up huge," Nunez said.

Reis came out of the box to try and make a play on the ball - or at least force a decision by Nunez - but Nunez had more than enough time to drive the game-winner softly over Reis' outstretched arms for a one-goal advantage.

"The ball just popped out right there, and I just tried to take advantage of it and put it away. It's definitely a good feeling," Nunez said. "You take anything, especially as a forward. You're just trying to be opportunistic."

The club's 283-minute shutout streak was snapped early on, as New England forward Adam Cristman chased down Reis' punt in the eighth minute and headed in the first goal of the game.

Salt Lake answered just three minutes later - with a little help from the Revolution's defense. Off a free kick from Salt Lake midfielder Morales, New England defender Jay Heaps poked home an own-goal to help Salt Lake pull even.

"Even when we went down one goal, it didn't phase anybody. We just kept it going, kept going at them, and we got that goal right back," Real midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "From there, we knew we were going to get that second goal."