Alvaro Saborio turned opening night into a nightmare for the defending Supporters Shield winners as he struck two late goals to give Real Salt Lake a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the final match of MLS Opening Weekend. Surviving a slew of opportunities from two-time league goal-scoring champ Chris Wondolowski and the rest of the Earthquakes, Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando posted his 100th career MLS clean sheet in the shutout win.
Throughout the match, the majority of the offensive opportunities belonged to the home side. Wondolowski finished the match with seven shots, but only one ever put Rimando to work as he tipped it into and over the crossbar in the 15th minute. Already Wondolowski had flubbed two quality chances and would continue to squander them throughout the night.
Once Saborio — the Costa Rican international who was made Salt Lake’s first-ever Designated Player in 2011 after an impressive loan spell with the club the year before — found the chances at his feet, he made no such mistake. Joao Plata led the striker with a pass between two Quakes defenders in the 71st minute, Saborio running on and hitting a right-footed blast inside San Jose keeper Jon Busch’s near post.
He added an insurance marker five minutes from stoppage time. Kyle Beckerman, in his 300th MLS appearance, inexplicably saw Saborio unmarked in the box. Beckerman slotted in the ball, Saborio pivoting and showing off his left foot this time to beat Busch and complete his brace. After losing thrice to the Quakes in 2012, Real now has the upper hand on last year’s regular-season champions.
REAL SALT LAKE @ SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Buck Shaw Stadium
March 3, 2013
- 71′ — RSL/Alvaro Saborio (Joao Plata)
- 85′ — RSL/Alvaro Saborio (Kyle Beckerman)
- SJ (4-4-2): Jon Busch; Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Ty Harden (Adam Jahn/83′); Ramiro Corrales (Sam Garza/72′), Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato/79′); Mike Fucito, Chris Wondolowski
- RSL (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Kenny Mansally, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman; Sebastian Velasquez, Luis Gil; Khari Stephenson (Yordany Alvarez/84′); Alvaro Saborio (Devon Sandoval/87′), Robbie Findley (Joao Plata/65′)