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Real Salt Lake stays alive in CONCACAF Champions League

Sep 19, 2012, 9:46 AM EDT

FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake Getty Images

We cannot exactly add Real Salt Lake to the list of MLS teams in the “sitting pretty” category of CONCACAF Champions League play – but the club from Utah is a lot closer today than yesterday.

Real Salt Lake needed all three points in last night’s tussle with Panama’s Tauro in order to stay in the thick of things in group play. Jason Kreis’ men got what they needed, but just barely.

Álvaro Saborío’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute gave the Utah side a 1-0 win over the Panamanian champions.

So yesterday’s win in Central America sets up a high stakes Oct. 23 showdown with Costa Rican champions Herediano, who currently share top spot in CCL Group 2, with six points each.

Herediano still has a home match against Tauro (which has now been eliminated). So, the likelihood looks like this for RSL:

Kreis’ side will probably need a win; chances are that a draw would suffice for the Costa Ricans.  Even then, it will probably come down to goal difference; the result of that Sept. 25 Herediano-Tauro contest will be significant.

RSL and Herediano both are currently at plus-2 on goal difference. Here are the current Group 2 standings:

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  1. ricecloudnine - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Assuming Herediano wins vs Tauro and then RSL wins the last game, it essentially becomes a home and home between them and Herediano in terms of tiebreakers. First three tiebreakers:

    Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
    Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
    Greater number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams concerned

    Only if that last match is a 1-0 RSL win would their matches vs Tauro come into play.

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