Real Salt Lake made their first appearance in CONCACAF Champions League since 2012/13 last night as they traveled to Guatemala to face Municipal. The game started the exact same way that it started against DC United on Saturday night, a goal from Joao Plata in the 2nd minute. RSL would then hold on for 88 more minutes to pick up the 1-0 win on the road and 3 points in Group G of Champions League. Getting 3 points on the road in CCL play with only 2 other teams in your group (4 games total) is a huge accomplishment. The Claret and Cobalt had the services of Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who made his first appearance in an RSL uniform since returning from USMNT duty in the Gold Cup. Plata’s goal came off a Javier Morales free kick that went into the box and bounced around a little before Plata put his foot on it about 18 yards out that went in near the right post. That was Plata’s 4th goal of the year across all competitions (3 in MLS) and his 4th straight game that Plata has scored for RSL. The second half was a lot of defense being played as Municipal had former MLS standout Carlos Ruiz, who is 10th on the MLS All-Time goal scoring list with 88 goals. He came close to knotting up the game twice. Once at the end of the first half as he fired a shot 26 yards out that was deflected by Rimando and hit the crossbar and cleared out by RSL. Another chance in the 78th minute that was smothered by Rimando.
RSL will be back in CONCACAF Champions League action on September 15th when they take on Santa Tecla in El Salvador. The Claret and Cobalt will return to MLS action on Saturday night when they travel to Vancouver to face the #1 team in the west, Whitecaps. We will have pregame coverage on Saturday at 7pm with kickoff at 8pm on ESPN 700.
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