Real Salt Lake oh so close

SANDY, Utah (AP) — Humberto Suazo’s goal in the closing minute of the first half proved enough for Monterrey as the Mexican League champ beat Real Salt Lake 1-0 Wednesday night to win the CONCACAF Champions League and advance to the FIFA Club World Cup in December. RSL was looking to make history in becoming the first Major League Soccer team to advance to the Club World Cup in Japan, but came up empty despite a sellout crowd of 20,378 at Rio Tinto Stadium Real seemingly had everything in its favor. RSL had a week to prepare for the game while Monterrey was playing its eighth game in 27 days. Plus, Real was riding a 37-game unbeaten streak at Rio Tinto, with its last loss coming 23 months earlier. Monterrey outlasted RSL, which squandered early scoring chances and couldn’t convert late even though a 1-1 tie would have been enough to advance because of the away goal advantage it earned in the first leg in Mexico. The lone score came on consecutive give-and-goes with Sergio Santana. Santana avoided a defender and gave the ball back to Suazo, who was there to put the ball past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 46th minute of stoppage time. Suazo, a Chilean international player, was a thorn in RSL’s side during the first leg in Mexico. He gave Monterrey a 2-1 lead in the first game only to have Javier Morales tie it in the 89th minute. This time Morales’ header went just wide in stoppage time in the second half. RSL was on the offensive in the first 15 minutes but had nothing to show for it. Fabian Espindola missed an open net in the 9th minute, and Nat Borchers’ header was too weak. Instead of making history, RSL returns to MLS play.

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