Plata, Martinez help Real Salt Lake beat Vancouver 1-0 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Plata, Martinez help Real Salt Lake beat Vancouver 1-0

April 16, 2016 - 10:55 PM

SANDY, Utah - Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson knows what happens when opportunities are squandered.

"Unfortunately it comes back to bite you in the bum when you miss chance after chance," Robinson said after Vancouver's 1-0 defeat against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

"Unfortunately we're going to have to take that."

Goal-producing Joao Plata set up Manuel Martinez for his first goal and Nick Rimando made four saves in his second shutout for Salt Lake, which remained the only unbeaten team in the league at 4-0-2.

Plata has scored or assisted on eight of Salt Lake's 10 goals this season. He sliced through the Whitecaps' defence before rolling the ball to Martinez on his left. Martinez stopped it, crossed defender Kendall Watson and steered it past diving goalkeeper David Ousted.

Plata has four goals and four assists.

"Salt Lake's front three really plays very dangerous. They at the moment have scored a number of goals and create a number of chances," Robinson said. "Every team has them. We have ours. Unfortunately ours aren't scoring at the moment, but we created chances. ... They pick up the three points. We're going home with nothing."

Vancouver (2-4-1) had won four straight in the series, including three last season.

Robinson made changes to his attack from last week, inserting Cristian Techera, Nicolas Mezquida, Kekuta Manneh, and Octavio Rivero up front, and it almost paid dividends early.

Rivero started things off in the fifth minute but his breakaway attempt from the right side narrowly missed the far post. Four minutes later, Techera fired a shot from the centre of the box but Rimando extended low to get his fingertips on the shot.

Real Salt Lake's best chance in the opening half came in the 42nd minute. After being stopped by Jordan Harvey on the right side of the box, Plata set up Kyle Beckerman in the middle for a right-footed strike but the shot sailed over the crossbar.

The Whitecaps had another opportunity in the 50th minute when they tried to capitalize off a Salt Lake turnover inside the Vancouver attacking half, but Rimando was again up to the task against Mezquida.

"I thought we started well, played, came out well and gave ourselves chances to score some goals," said Vancouver midfielder Andrew Jacobson. "We pressed well and couldn't get that goal.

"They grabbed one towards the end and then we're pushing and it kind of opened up at that point. But I think before the goal we did fairly well. We gave ourselves pretty good chance to win the game, honestly."

Salt Lake looked to double their lead in the 74th minute when Martinez manoeuvred his way through a pair of Vancouver players at midfield, then launched from distance but Ousted made save. Shortly after, Plata appeared to have a point-blank look until centre back Tim Parker slid into the scene for the timely block.

— With files from The Canadian Press

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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