Salt Lake dampens Metro in the desert, 1:0
February 23, 2012 (Official Game Summary)
In the opening night of the Desert Diamond Cup, the New York Red Bulls fell, 1-0, to Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake. After a scoreless first half, Real Salt Lake earned the result after Paulo Jr.'s header found the back of the net 15 minutes from full time. The Red Bulls are now 1-1-2 in the 2012 preseason action.
The first scoring chance of the match came to the Red Bulls, which fielded a younger lineup Wednesday, in the eighth minute. Left back Connor Lade received a diagonal pass and swung in a cross that was nodded over the bar by forward Corey Hertzog. Moments later, New York forward Jhonny Arteaga forced goalkeeper Kyle Reynish to push his shot away.
On the other end, Real Salt Lake midfielder Nico Muniz was inches from giving his side the lead, creating enough space at the top of the penalty box and curling an attempt that beat goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo and slammed off the right post. Vuolo came up trumps for New York in the 22nd minute, parrying a Yordany Alvarez strike from 15 yards out.
The teams entered halftime scoreless but had prime chances two minutes from the break. Real Salt Lake's Cody Arnoux cut in to his right foot and his on-target blast was stopped by Vuolo. Soon after, Hertzog got to a loose ball first and was denied from close range by Reynish.
Real Salt Lake tallied the only goal of the match 15 minutes from full time. Substitute Fabian Espindola raced down the left wing and his delivery into the 18-yard-box was met by the head of Paulo Jr., who nodded it into the back of the net.
Hertzog could have tied the game in the 82nd minute, taking a Tyler Ruthven feed and rifling his long-range shot over the crossbar.