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Originally published April 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM | Page modified April 10, 2010 at 11:24 PM

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Real Salt Lake gets late tie with Sounders FC, 2-2

Leading 2-1, with the final seconds of a potentially huge road win ticking away, Seattle allowed a game-tying header by RSL forward Alvaro Saborio on a corner kick in the final minute of stoppage time in front of 19,970 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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SANDY, Utah — Sounders FC didn't come away empty-handed after a 2-2 draw Saturday against defending league champion Real Salt Lake.

But it certainly felt like it.

Leading 2-1, with the final seconds of a potentially huge road win ticking away, Seattle allowed a game-tying header by RSL forward Alvaro Saborio on a corner kick in the final minute of stoppage time in front of 19,970 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Earning one point in the MLS standings was little consolation.

"Giving up a goal in the last second like that, we're not happy with it," said coach Sigi Schmid. "We could have walked away with three points. ... It's a criminal mistake at the end of the game. We can't make a mistake like that."

It was the second straight week Seattle (1-1-1) was left to wonder "what if?" Against New York last Saturday, Sounders FC took 17 shots but lost 1-0 at home.

Schmid said he would have rather seen his defender commit a foul than give up an open header for a goal.

"At that point in the game you've got to be touch-tight to somebody," Schmid said. "If you're a player you say, 'OK, if I get beat it's going to be a PK (penalty kick). But he ain't scoring on a header.' "

Seattle had taken the lead in the 73rd minute when forward Freddie Ljungberg swung in a free kick that was redirected by RSL defender Nat Borchers into his own net. Sounders FC defender Tyrone Marshall was closest to the ball and was originally credited with the goal until further review called it an own goal.

Late in the game, RSL (1-1-1) pressed hard for the equalizer and had many chances to tie the score. In the 80th minute, Saborio missed an open header in front of the Sounders FC goal. Five minutes later, defender Robbie Russell fired a hard shot on goal that was saved by Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

"Give some credit to Salt Lake," Keller said. "They never quit. They kept fighting. They kept putting us under pressure. They had a bunch of corner kicks in the end, and on the late one they got their reward."

Seattle got out to a slow start on the road and was outplayed for most of the game, but the visitors surprised the home crowd with a perfectly executed counter-attack goal in the 11th minute to take a 1-0 lead.

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After the Sounders FC defense dispossessed RSL of the ball, Fredy Montero received a pass from James Riley and found midfielder Steve Zakuani racing along the left side for the breakaway. Zakuani then calmly placed a shot past goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the early lead.

Despite scoring his first goal of the season, Zakuani echoed a somber tone in the locker room.

"I don't think many teams will come in here and win this season," Zakuani said. "So it would have been a huge win. ... It feels almost like a loss."

Real Salt Lake, which also got a goal from midfielder Will Johnson in the 53rd minute, went 9-1-5 at home last season, outscoring opponents 34-11.

Notes

• Sounders FC's Pat Noonan made his first start for the team. He rotated with Montero and Ljungberg up front as a forward and on the right as a midfielder. Defender Tyson Wahl made his season debut with the team, coming into the game in the 49th minute for Leo Gonzalez, who wasn't feeling well.

• RSL midfielder Javier Morales, who came into the day as the league's co-leader in goals with three, had to be subbed out in the 39th minute with groin injury.

• An estimated 200 Seattle fans made the trip.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com

SOUNDERS FC 2, REAL SALT LAKE 2

Seattle 1 1 — 2
Real Salt Lake 0 2 — 2
First half — 1, Seattle, Zakuani 1 (Montero), 12th minute. Second half — 2, Real Salt Lake, Johnson 1 (Russell), 53rd. 3, Seattle, Marshall 1 (Ljungberg), 72nd. 4, Real Salt Lake, Saborio 1 (Gonzalez), 49th+. Goalies — Seattle, Kasey Keller; Real Salt Lake, Nick Rimando. Shots — Seattle 2, Real Salt Lake 7. Shots on goal — Seattle 2, Real Salt Lake 3. Saves — Seattle 3, Real Salt Lake 1. Fouls — Seattle 10, Real Salt Lake 13. Offsides — Seattle 1, Real Salt Lake 3. Corner kicks — Seattle 2, Real Salt Lake 11. Yellow cards — Marshall, Seattle, 56th; Wingert, Real Salt Lake, 60th. A — 19,970 (20,008).

Lineups

Seattle — Kasey Keller, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl, 48th), James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque, 78th), Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg, Pat Noonan, Fredy Montero (Nathan Sturgis, 74th).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Jamison Olave, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez, 47th), Javier Morales (Andy Williams, 36th), Robbie Findley (Alvaro Saborio, 78th), Fabian Espindola.

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More Sounders headlines...

I disagree. This game was might have been given away but not by Keller. The person to blame is Evans. Both RSL's goals was scored by the...  Posted on April 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM by lovethisgame. Jump to comment
On the goal in the final seconds, the Sounders had no player on the far post (such a player might have cleared the header). I would have guessed...  Posted on April 10, 2010 at 9:10 PM by darian venture. Jump to comment
It's funny the games are coming down to one guy on the field having a negative impact. First Roger stood out, now Evans is standing out for...  Posted on April 11, 2010 at 1:04 PM by opie of mayberry. Jump to comment


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