The kid deserved better.
Tony Beltran is a rookie having himself a pretty good first season in MLS but he had to endure a fate that so many defenders have to endure, the cursed game-losing own goal.
Beltran’s mistake snapped Real Salt Lake’s record-setting unbeaten streak at five games while also giving new life to a Wizards team desperate for a win after going more than two months without one. With Josh Wolff on the way, things look a bit more optimistic in Kansas City than they did a week ago.
SBI correspondent Scott McAllister watched the action and gave us his take on the match (My apologies for posting this so late but our search for a new Wizards correspondent continues. Any interested candidates can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
One unfortunate play ends RSL’s streak
By SCOTT McALLISTER
How’s that for irony? The last guy on the pitch that RSL would want in the middle of the box to try and score on a high cross gets his head on a Kansas City free kick to beat his own ‘keeper. It was one of few mistakes by Tony Beltran individually, and by the Salt Lake back line collectively, in an otherwise solid performance on Saturday.
During the week leading up to the game the possibility of making history with a sixth straight result outside of the loss column got me excited to see if RSL was up to the challenge against a Wizards side that has been hot and cold this season. Although having the broadcast on a channel that wasn’t immediately available to me, I was forced to reacquaint myself with the tiny pixelated picture provided by the MLSlive.tv media player. Not the preferred way to watch a match – especially on a Mac – but this beggar can’t be choosy.
For a team that came out in what can be said as a defensive 4-5-1 formation, the Red-and-Blue certainly didn’t play with a bunker in mind. Kansas City was playing like a team that hasn’t won a league contest since April, and Salt Lake was patient to absorb each attack and then try to counter.
The defense did their job at disrupting play, especially when the Wizards pushed them back into the their own penalty area. Honestly, playing the first half with the sun directly in their faces, the Salt Lake defense accomplished quite a feat by not letting one of the long range shots from the Blues find it’s way into the net. The midfield worked at moving the ball forward quickly for most of the match. The finishing was poor.
In the second half Kenny Deuchar and Robbie Findley weren’t getting it done, and I really liked how Jason Kreis reinforced his offensive intentions by bringing on Yura Movsisyan and Tino Nunez as their replacements. The offensive substitution was a good one as both Movsisyan and Nunez created dangerous scoring chances within minutes of coming on. Nunez’s drive to the near post was particularly encouraging, and I hope to see more of him in the coming weeks.
Dema Kovalenko got hosed. The hip-check he gave to Scott Sealy in the first half might have been a foul, but still relatively harmless. It was a situation where I think Kovalenko’s reputation played a part in the referees decision. Although, looking at the score-sheet now, supposedly the card was for dissent. I don’t blame Kovalenko for being upset at the call on that play, but now RSL will be without the midfielder against Houston tonight.