Finishing eludes RSL in defeat

SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake saw their season officially ended Saturday night, mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration with a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

After conceding an early goal, Real started to gain the upper hand, holding play primarily in the Crew half of the field. But in what was the theme of the night, they were unable to capitalize.

"The offense is working when you create chances and finish them," said coach John Ellinger. "Creating chances is only half of it."

That frustration was shared by the players. Andy Williams was perhaps the most exasperated after he seemed to be the catalyst for many blown chances, before he netted the home side's only goal with just four minutes left in the match.

"Its frustrating when you take 10 shots and can't score, but the other team has one and scores," he said. "We just aren't finishing."

The lack of finishing haunted Real as they gave up two first half goals amid an effort that seemed to lack solid team play.

"It is so demoralizing to give up a score just before halftime and it takes away all the confidence that you had going into the half," Ellinger said.

But some credit was due the Crew defense.

"We had to take what the defense gave us," Williams said. "If you have any opportunity you have to take it or we are never going to score."

And the Crew's defense didn't allow Real to get many good, close range shots. After better teamwork took over in the second half, Real began looking to the future.

"Hopefully the second half tonight was the start of next year," Williams said.

David Hale is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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