By TYLER GRAY
On Saturday, it was one goal, two red cards and another three points for Real Salt Lake.
The Western Conference leaders continued their run of good form Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field.
An opportunistic strike from Yordany Alvarez gave RSL their first goal in Toronto, and some spectacular goalkeeping from Nick Rimando in the dying moments of the match preserved the narrow victory.
The first half didn’t see many clear-cut chances until the 45th minute, when Alvarez’s powerful strike broke the deadlock.
RSL right back Tony Beltran made a run down the left side of the defense and then passed it to forward Olmes Garcia. The young forward then laid it off perfectly to an onrushing Alvarez just outside the box.
The Cuban international struck the ball perfectly, and Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik could only watch as the ball streaked into the net. It was the first MLS goal for Alvarez, who joined the club from USL Pro side Orlando City in September 2011.
The second half was marred by a scrum between the two sides that resulted in red cards for Beltran and Toronto defender Doneil Henry, who are both members of their respective nations’ Gold Cup squads.
Beltran was whistled for a foul from behind on Toronto midfielder Luis Silva, who appeared to kick the RSL right back from the ground. The RSL right back responded with a retaliatory shove, prompting Henry to rush in and knock Beltran down with a shove of his own.
When the smoke cleared and the game resumed, both teams found themselves playing down a man for the final 10 minutes of the match.
Toronto still had some fight in them as they forced RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando to make two spectacular saves in stoppage time to preserve the visiting side’s first-ever victory in Toronto. Nat Borchers also made a late stop, clearing an open header from Jeremy Brockie off the line.
The final whistle mercifully blew after Rimando’s second save, and RSL were able to finish the month of June a perfect 6-0-0 across all competitions.
RSL (10-5-3) will be back in action this Wednesday when they welcome in the Philadelphia Union for a midweek match. Toronto (2-8-6) will also be in action that evening as they play hosts to Canadian rivals Montreal.
Here are the match highlights: