CCL Recap: Morales, Williams lead RSL into CONCACAF semifinals
Decisive 4-1 win puts undermanned Columbus out of CCL tourney
SANDY, Utah – An inspired performance by midfielder Javier Morales and Andy Williams led Real Salt Lake to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday night as RSL became the first-ever MLS team to qualify to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
RSL scored two first-half goals on near identical plays as Costa Rican Álvaro Saborío and Morales found the back of the net in the 23rd and 36th minutes. A goal by Peruvian forward Andres Mendoza early in the second half cut the score to 2-1 and gave the Crew a glimmer of hope. However, a second Morales goal with 13 minutes remaining extinguished any hopes of a Columbus comeback. And Williams added the icing on the cake with a majestic free kick on the final play of the game.
Real Salt Lake advance to face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Saprissa and Olimpia. The second leg in that aggregate goal series takes place on Thursday night with the Costa Rican side carrying a narrow 1-0 lead.