Real fight for playoff chance | Buzz Blog
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Real fight for playoff chance

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%uFFFD%uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFD %uFFFDReal Salt Lake’s scoreboard in the Sandy stadium read 0-0 at the end of tonight’s rough-and-tumble game against Houston. But it didn’t tell the story of a hard-fought soccer match that RSL dominated from start to finish. That story was told in other figures, namely Real’s eight shots on goal compared to Houston’s one.---

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD Despite trepidation in Salt Lake City’s press that Houston’s depth of strength on the field would crush Real Salt Lake, a team still in search of form after an often disappointing season, coach Jason Kreis’s team showed little sign of flagging for all the pressure it brought to bear.

Kreis was back on his team’s bench tonight, after a two-match suspension. His bent-over, at times almost funereal figure on the edge of the field perfectly evoked the escalating tension of a match marked by often bizarre refereeing that had fans at half time and game end loudly booing the ref and his linesmen.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD The closest Real came to scoring was a brilliant header by Robbie Findley to the left goal post from a soaring chip by Clint Mathis. Both teams ended up one man down by the end of the first half. In the second half RSL’s captain Kyle Beckerman, who’s had a lackluster season, partly because of numerous absences from his side, worked with Argentine star Javier Morales and Will Johnson to build up attacking momentum from midfield.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD While that momentum didn’t translate into goals, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Whether this match marks a turning point in the reemergence of the hard-fighting, scrappy side that reached the play-offs last year isn’t clear. If nothing else, it produced one of the most entertaining, if also frustrating, games of the season.%uFFFD%uFFFD %uFFFD%uFFFD