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Olave, Findley power RSL past Toronto FC

Jul 29, 2008 - 4:32 AM
By Tony Pizza PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Real Salt Lake had every reason to consider its match against Toronto FC a must-win situation. Robbie Findley made sure it happened.

Findley capped a thrilling finish with a go-ahead goal in the 87th minute to give RSL a crucial three-point decision Monday, sending it to a 2-1 victory over Toronto.

The win allowed RSL (7-6-6) to remain unbeaten in its last 11 home games - going 6-0-5 in that time - and extended its first-place lead on the Western Conference to four points over Houston (5-4-8) and Los Angeles (6-7-5) going into a unique 18-day break.

Findley's unassisted game-winner came just three minutes after Toronto's Amado Guevara tied the match in the 84th minute on a brilliant long distance shot that barely eluded the outstretched fingers of goalkeeper Nick Rimando, ending his season-high shutout streak at 354 minutes.

"Again, it's another game where we felt as if we had something, and then (our) poor defending shoots (us) in the foot," said Toronto head coach John Carver, whose team fell to 1-7-0 on the road and hasn't scored more than one goal in a game since its last win on June 14. "It seems to be the story of our life for the moment, especially on the road."

On the play, Findley corralled a rebound off a shot from Kyle Beckerman inside the penalty box area and drove a blast right at Greg Sutton that ricocheted off the Toronto keeper's body and into the left side of the net.

"As the ball came up, Kyle made a great shot," Findley said. "The keeper saved it, I was able to get a touch across and made it. I had to work. I saw the defender fall off. I knew I had to get there first."

The goal was his fifth of the season and the win extended RSL's unbeaten streak to four games.

After a scoreless first half, the action picked up in the 63rd minute when defender Jamison Olave received a long pass from near midfield from RSL's Chris Wingert and connected on the pass with a one-time header that made the score, 1-0. It was his first career goal.

"It's been a while since I've scored a goal," Olave said through an interpreter. "Fortunately, today it happened and we got the win."

Rimando stopped three shots while Sutton posted seven saves in a losing effort for Toronto (6-7-4).