Photo by Jim Urquhart/USA Today Sports
By TYLER GRAY
SANDY, Utah. – It was a long road back for Alvaro Saborio, but he made his return count.
Back in action for the first time since suffering a broken foot more than three months ago, Saborio delivered a winning header in Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 victory vs. FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
Saborio entered in the 77th minute and proceeded to score with his very first touch of the ball, heading home a Javier Morales cross for the winning tally
Just a few minutes earlier RSL were staring at a second straight tie and slipping further out of the race for the Western Conference lead when Michel leveled the score in the 62nd minute.
It was a corner for the home side and midfielder Javier Morales swung a ball into the box where Saborio was waiting. He rose up and nodded the ball into the back of the net and gave RSL the game-winning score.
Saborio was only on the pitch for five seconds and the RSL forward was beaming after the goal. It was easy to see that he was happy to be back on the pitch after a long road to recovery.
“Yeah it was unbelievable,” Saborio said. “I have never felt this feeling before so I am very happy because I have been injured for a long time, and now I can help the team with goals.”
Just a few minutes before, RSL were staring at a second straight tie and slipping further out of the race for the Western Conference lead when Michel leveled the score in the 62nd minute.
The home side committed a foul right outside of the box and Dallas had a perfect opportunity to get back in the game. The Brazilian blasted a perfect shot that RSL goalkeeper Rimando didn’t see until it was too late and the sides were level.
Michel’s strike cancelled out a 31st minute strike from RSL forward Robbie Findley that was his first of the season. Findley got on the end of a blocked Luke Mulholland shot and calmly slotted it inside the far post.
It was a night of firsts for RSL with newcomer Sebastian Jaime seeing his first minutes, Robbie Findley scoring his first goal of the 2014 campaign and Saborio scoring with his first touch.
Saborio’s strike was reminiscent of his very first in an RSL jersey when he entered the match against the Seattle Sounders and scored a headed goal, only this time, it was for the win.
Findley praised Saborio’s contribution exclaiming that it was unlike anything he had ever seen.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Findley said. “It’s definitely good for him and his confidence coming back from his injury as well. But it lifted the team I think. When you come on as a sub, you want to ignite a little spark and he did that.”
RSL secured three points that they desperately needed for the stretch playoff run but Cassar stressed the importance of not getting ahead of themselves.
“The Supporters’ Shield is going to happen by us taking care of business. We have a huge game coming up against Seattle. I think if we get a really good result there we can start putting ourselves into the mix for that.”