CARSON, Calif. — Real Salt Lake put in a gritty performance on the road Saturday night despite playing down a man for 67 minutes and held on for a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center.
The visitors stormed out of the gates, taking the lead in the 10th minute of play off a piece of horrid defending by Chivas. A failed back pass by Ante Jazic missed David Júnior Lopes and fell to RSL striker Álvaro Saborío, who went around Goats 'keeper Dan Kennedy and easily deposited the ball for his seventh goal of the season.
Chivas USA had a couple of opportunities to answer back early, including an ambitious drive by winger Jorge Flores in the 13th minute that forced a diving save from Nick Rimando, and a nice effort six minutes later by Juan Pablo Ángel, who collected a ball off his chest and fired a half-volley that bounced off the crossbar.
But the moment that turned the match on its head came in the 24th minute. Nick LaBrocca took a nifty flick from Ángel and charged on a 20-yard breakaway. Just steps away from entering the box unchallenged, Chivas' leading scorer was brought down by trailing RSL center back Nat Borchers, who was immediately shown red by referee Kevin Stott.
Salt Lake were forced to bunker into their own end as Jason Kreis brought in center back Chris Schuler to pair with Jámison Olave, who started in his first match back from a knee injury. But Chivas USA failed to put on any sustained pressure following Borchers' booking and looked bereft of ideas as Robin Fraser added more attacking options into his lineup.
As the match dragged on, the Goats appeared disjointed in the attack, failing to send in quality chances to their attackers. In the 60th minute, they also lost Heath Pearce, who exited the match with an apparent hamstring injury. Still, Chivas nearly found their equalizer in the 78th minute when Ángel made a clever move around a falling Olave to rocket a shot from 18 yards out that forced a sprawling save from Rimando.
With the win, Real Salt Lake improve to 11-7-6 and look to solidify their hold on a playoff berth when they host Philadelphia on Sept. 10 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Chivas USA, meanwhile, saw their four-game unbeaten streak at home come to an end as they fall to 7-10-10. They'll look to keep their playoff hopes alive against D.C. United, with whom they're even on points in the playoff standings, at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 10.
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio 7 (unassisted) 11
RSL -- Nat Borchers (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 24
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 73
CHV -- David Junior Lopes (caution; Reckless Foul) 79
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Arturo Alvarez (Chris Schuler 32), Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil (Andy Williams 86), Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Paulo Araujo Jr., Blake Wagner, Collen Warner, Tim Melia.
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, David Junior Lopes, Michael Umana (Mariano Trujillo 46), Heath Pearce (Laurent Courtois 61), Ante Jazic, Blair Gavin, Simon Elliott (Marcos Mondaini 72), Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores, Juan Pablo Angel, Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Justin Braun, Chris Cortez, Ben Zemanski, Zach Thornton.
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Peter Balciunas; Jason Cullum
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 75 degrees