MONTERREY - A last-minute
goal from Javier Morales gave Major League Soccer's Real
Salt Lake a 2-2 draw with Mexico's Monterrey in the first leg of
the CONCACAF Champions League Final on Wednesday.
The result, just the fourth time an MLS team have managed a
draw on Mexican soil in an official game, gives Salt Lake a good
chance of becoming the first team from the league to gain a
place in FIFA's World Club Cup - the prize for winning the club
tournament for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
However, Salt Lake will have to take on the Mexican
champions in next Wednesday's game in Utah without their
influential skipper Kyle Beckerman, who will be suspended after
picking up a second yellow card.
Monterrey grabbed the lead in a pulsating encounter with an
18th minute strike from close-range by forward Aldo de Nigris,
after Real failed to clear a goalmouth scramble.
Surprisingly, Monterrey coach Victor Manuel Vucetich subbed
De Nigris and captain Luis Ernesto Perez almost immediately.
While both players used ice packs on their legs sitting on the
bench neither looked seriously injured.
Although Real played their usual short-passing game, it was
a more direct method that brought them back on level terms in
the 35th minute when Will Johnson curled in a cross from deep on
the right and Nat Borchers rose well to head home.
The Mexicans came out strongly after the break, gaining the
upper hand in midfield and they restored their advantage with a
63rd minute penalty from Chilean forward Humberto Suazo after
defender Jamison Olave was ruled to have handled in the area.
With Beckerman's booking delivering another blow to the
visitors, the tie looked to be in Monterrey's control but they
may live to regret a missed chance by Suazo, who raced into the
area but lobbed his shot wide over the advancing keeper Nick
With just a minute of normal time remaining, substitute
Arturo Alvarez won possession for Salt Lake and jinked into
space before delivering a superb pass to Argentine Morales, who
cut into the area and drove a fierce shot low into the far
corner for a dramatic equaliser and a valuable second away goal.
Real Salt Lake have an excellent record at their Rio Tinto
stadium and are unbeaten in their last 34 regular season and Cup
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010