Real Salt Lake faced Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions League on a very rainy day in Estadio Azul in Mexico. The referee was Oscar Moncada and Cruz Azul needed a victory to at least depart from the competition with dignity.
Cruz Azul was true to form when winning one game then losing another game. The worst part is losing in its home stadium to Real Salt Lake. It was able to score one goal by Javier Antonio Orozco Penuelas within four minutes of the game.
Cruz Azul started to play mediocre at best and unable to play coherently in the rain. The end result were mistakes that lead to a yellow card for Maximiliano Biancuchi and Horacio Cervantes.
Real Salt Lake made its presence felt with its dominance of the game and being able to play even with heavy rain. The team was disciplined and consistent as well as organized in defense and offense.
The team was all over Estadio Azul, with Alvaro Saborio scoring the first goal on the basis of a penalty within 22 minutes.
Alvaro Saborio remained on the defensive and was able to pass the ball to his fellow teammates. He was able to place the ball in the center and score another goal for Real Salt Lake at 42 minutes.
Real Salt Lake was dominant even though Nelson Gonzalez received a yellow card within 26 minutes. The second half continued like the first half, with both teams initiating substitutions.
Cruz Azul replaced Cesar Villaluz with Christian Jimenez while Real Salt Lake replaced Nelson Gonzalez with Ned Grabavoy. Regardless, Fausto Pinto of Cruz Azul committed a foul against Ned Grabavoy.
The result was a free kick, which resulted in a goal by Fabian Espinola in 63 minutes. Real Salt Lake then replaced Mr. Espinola with Robbie Findley. While Real Salt Lake was struggling to maintain its lead, Cruz Azul was able to wake up from its lethargy to play defensive and offensive football/soccer.
The end result was a second goal by Javier Antonio Orozco Penuelas assisted by Christian Gimenez for Cruz Azul within 75 minutes. Cruz Azul then substituted Gonzalo Pineda with Rogelio Chavez Martinez while the crowd was actively supporting their team.
Cruz Azul was playing more like a team and its presence was being felt in the last few minutes of this important game. Real Salt Lake felt the brunt of Cruz Azul when Robbie Findley received a yellow card.
The team from Estadio Azul made a comeback when Javier Antonio Orozco Penuelas scored two goals toward the end of the game. He scored his third goal in 87 minutes assisted by Alejandro Vela.
The fourth goal in 89 minutes by Orozco Penuelas was assisted by Rogelio Chavez Martinez and was the result of a foul by Ned Grabavoy upon Fausto Pinto in a sudden inverse change between the two players.
It appeared that we were witnessing the greatest comeback in the CONCACAF Champions League with Christian Gimenez scoring another goal for Cruz Azul in the 90th minute. The crowd was going wild with Cruz Azul.
Will Johnson was able to score a goal as a parting shot for Real Salt Lake at the last minute, but it did not save the team. The game was one of the most hotly contested and electrifying contests of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The referee was also one of the few who was objective compared to the one that was at the Columbus Crew vs Santos game.
Cruz Azul 5-4 Real Salt Lake
Estadio Azul Mexico
Most Valued Player: Javier Antonio Orozco Penuelas.