SANDY — With the exception of two possessions by FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake did everything necessary to pick up a victory at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night. Instead the Claret and Cobalt fell to the visiting Toros, 2-1, on a stoppage time goal by FC Dallas forward David Ferreira in the 94th minute.
“They weren’t causing us any troubles except for those two plays,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis said. “The first one came off a give and go. Tony (Beltran) played behind with (David) Castillo and didn’t react quick enough to it. The second one came off of our aggressive decisions. Again, we’re trying to get players forward. We’re trying to go for the win. A tie is not good enough for us at home. In the grand scheme of things, we lost a whole whopping one point.”
FC Dallas and RSL fought to a stalemate through the first 45 minutes – each team finished with just five shots on goal. Toro’s forward Castillo took a pass from Ferreira and put it out of reach of RSL keeper Nick Rimando in the 61st minute.
“The breakdown for me was what happened in our half of the field and not their half of the field,” Kreis said. “We go to serve the ball and it pops out to Jackson. Beltran and (Luis) Gil were both there to either make a tackle or make a foul. One of the two has to happen. Nothing else can happen. Unfortunately, neither happened and he was able to play a long pass, and one pass later, they had a goal.”
It was equally frustrating for Beltran to give the goal as RSL has been focusing on taking care of the little things the past few games.
“We set our expectations high and three points at home is the only thing that’s good enough and so we were pushing for that goal,” Beltran said. “We just have to do a better job. When we were pushing for that goal, because I know we are capable of getting that. We just need to be more alert of counter attacking and where they are dangerous. If we clean that up, maybe we get a second goal and walk out of here with one point.”
RSL forward Alvaro Saborio knotted the match at 1-all with a header in the 75th minute. Team captain Javier Morales placed a corner kick just high enough for the leaping Saborio to put behind FC Dallas goalkeeper Matt Hartman.
“I thought we got everything but the result tonight,” Kreis said. “I really thought we got emotion from our players and we got good attacking movements. We had a lot of chances to score, and we just did so many things well. It’s just an unfortunate situation. Unfortunately this game can be very, very cruel.”
Hartman played a big role ensuring RSL did not get the desired result.
“Kevin Hartman is a very good goalkeeper,” Kreis said. “If he hadn’t had the night he had tonight, we would have won. He really got some good saves on some longer shots. For me, he was the difference maker.”
RSL rested several of their regular starters, including Saborio and midfielder Kyle Beckerman. Both players checked into the match midway through the second half and added a little spark to RSL’s play.
“We were pushing for the second goal and it felt like we were going to get it,” Beltran said. “The guys who came in did a fantastic job of positively changing the game. The crowd was behind us and it felt like we were going to get that second goal.”
It was several difficult saves that Hartman made to give FC Dallas a chance to win late. Hartman made a quick one-handed save point blank off a strike from Justin Braun in the 88th minute, and Ferreria hit the golden goal minutes later off a pass from midfielder Brek Shea and Jackson.
“So now we are at a precipice because this could be a real heartbreaker for us,” Kreis said. “We just can’t let it be. We’ve got to stay together and continue to move forward and believe. If we play this way Tuesday night, then we’ll get the result and maybe we’ll roll from there.”
The matchup for RSL in the CONCACAF Champions Leauge against Tauro FC on Tuesday at home is the next focus.
“We’re putting a tremendous amount of emphasis on Tuesday,” Kreis said. “Hopefully, the one thing we gained out of tonight was some rest for our players so they are fresh and ready to go come Tuesday night.”
“We just have to slough this one off and move forward with another challenge with Champions League,” RSL defender Nat Borchers said. “It’s all or nothing right now. We’ve got to come out strong against this Panamanian team.”