Real Salt Lake came out assertive against the Seattle Sounders Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals. Javier Morales, Paulo Jr. and Ned Grabavoy all had good opportunities to score in the first half. Morales, Saborio and Espindola had additional chances in the second half to give RSL a nearly 2 to 1 advantage in shots on goal, but the stellar goal keeping of Seattle's Michael Gspurning and a half-second hesitation in the 80th minute by RSL defender Tony Beltran gave Seattle the opportunity they needed to put the ball in the back of the net and steal the home win and the opportunity to advance to the conference finals. Seattle advances to play Los Angeles next Sunday in the first game of that series. 

Game Stats

Match Info

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Referee: Chris Penso
Attendance: 19,657

Score: Seattle Sounders 1, Real Salt Lake 0

Goals: Mario Martinez, 81'

Cards: Osvaldo Alonso, yellow, 51'

Summary: Real Salt Lake Seattle Sounders FC
14 Attempts on Goal 9
9 Shots on Target 5
4 Shots off Target 4
1 Blocked Shots 0
7 Corner Kicks 5
10 Fouls 13
19 Open Play Crosses 16
0 Offsides 3
0 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
36 Duels Won 61
37% Duels Won % 62%
452 Total Pass 294
80% Passing Accuracy % 70%
59.3% Possession 40.7%

Nick Rimando (GK)

Rimando had only one shot on goal to deal with in the first half, unlike the barrage that met him in the first leg of this playoff series in Seattle. That ended in the 46th minute of the second half when Brad Evans sent a rocket into goal off a terrible Beckerman clearance that must have rattled Nick's teeth when he saved it.

Mario Martinez got past him in the 80th minute off a breakaway with a shot to rival Brad Evans in the first, but that Nick had no chance of reaching.

MIN 90
SHT 0
SV 4
GA 1
A 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: A

Tony Beltran (D)

Beltran found himself on the offensive end of the field more than perhaps he had in mind as Real Salt Lake controlled the flow of play most of the game. But either Jason Kreis' game plan was to play through the middle or left sides and Tony found himself with a lot of open space and nothing much to do with it.

Defensively he was fine when called upon except for his marking on Martinez in the 80th minute that simply left the Seattle midfielder too much room for the shot that ended RSL's hopes of making it back to Western Conference finals.

MIN 85
G 0
S 0
SOG 0
FC 1
FS 1
SV 0
CK 0
OF 0

Grade: C

Jamison Olave (D)

Seattle's physically imposing striker Eddie Johnson has been one of the hottest stories of the 2012 MLS season. But Jamison Olave may be the only center back in Major League Soccer who hasn't heard the news. He had no trouble matching up with Johnson and kept him in the cooler the majority of the game.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 2
FS 1

Grade: A-

Nat Borchers (D)

Borchers had Freddy Montero in his hip pocket all night long. While Montero's speed and craft is usually more than a handful for most center backs, Nat neutralized him with great positioning and his trademark air game. Nat was special Thursday night. 

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 1
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: A, Man of the Match

Kenny Mansally (D)

Mansally was called on to step in for Chris Wingert who came up lame with a right quad injury just prior to the game. His offensive tendencies got the better of him a few times as he held the ball too long and had it taken away.

Other than that, he was actually very effective against the feisty Christian Tiffert and speedy Andy Rose along RSL's left flank. That was until he dove in for a dangerous slide tackle in the 79th minute that opened the way for the Seattle fast break that gave the Sounders their ever-so-slight window of opportunity through which Mario Martinez rifled the game winning shot.

MIN 86
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 2
FS 1

Grade: B-

Will Johnson (M)

Johnson played his best defensive game of the season, making superhuman runs, diving into gaps and stealing space from would be receiving Sounders like they were standing still. His excellent offensive play couldn't go unnoticed as well as Will linked up numerous times to help RSL outshoot Seattle nearly 2 to 1.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 2
CK 2
OF 0
FC 0
FS 2

Grade: A

Kyle Beckerman (M)

Beckerman was a sea of calm in the midfield. RSL's forward line and offensive midfielders were crackling with electricity while Kyle remained the steady, perfectly positioned base they knew they could always go back to for another sortie on the Seattle goal.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: A

Ned Grabavoy (M)

Grabavoy had the first shot on goal for the game in the 10th minute off a strong run and a well timed turn by Alvaro Saborio. He played with tremendous heart all night long but in the end just ran out of gas and the last 10 minutes found him too strained and exhausted to be the difference RSL needed. 

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 1
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 1

Grade: A

Javier Morales (M)

Morales came with his game boots on Thursday night. His first challenge in the 6th minute gave RSL their first opportunity when Javier won a free kick from 20 yards out off a nifty and aggressive move. His free kicks and corner kicks were solid and his defense was quality, but in the end it wasn't enough to give RSL the opportunity to move on.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 3
SOG 2
CK 5
OF 0
FC 1
FS 5

Grade: A

Alvaro Saborio (F)

Saborio played the post-up striker role well, but it was his foot skills that impressed Thursday night. One early second-half run found him dribbling through three Seattle defenders to find himself with a shot at goal. Unfortunately the goal was not as good as the run. He was superb on defense and showed a passion and eagerness akin to his usual strike partner, Fabian Espindola.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 4
SOG 2
CK 0
OF 0
FC 4
FS 2

Grade: A

Paulo Jr. (F)

Paulo nearly found RSL's first goal in the 19th minute when he connected off a cross inches in front of the goal face but knocked it wide left. He worked hard the rest of the game but never quite factored into the attack. He was subbed out in the 58th minute for Fabian Espindola.

MIN 58
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: A

Fabian Espindola (F, Sub 58')

Espindola came on in the 58th minute for Paulo Jr and immediately turned RSL's energy on the front line up to 11. His defensive play in Seattle's final third was exactly what RSL needed to keep the pressure on Seattle, but like the rest of his offensive compadres, he could not break the Gspurning blockade.

MIN 32
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 1
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: A

Luis Gil (M, Sub 85')

Gil was subbed on in the 85th minute for Tony Beltran and RSL's frantic final 10 minutes (with 5 minutes of stoppage time added) was perhaps too frantic to allow Luis to get into the flow or make much of a contribution to the game.

MIN 5
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: Incomplete

Jonny Steele (M, Sub 86')

Steele came on in the 86th minute and like Luis Gil had too little time to find the flow of the game.

MIN 4
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Grade: Incomplete