SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake rallied from a goal down to ease past 10-man Toronto FC, 4-1, in Champions League action at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night.
The win thrust RSL atop Group A alongside Mexico's Cruz Azul, who defeated Panamanian side Árabe Unido, 6-0, also on Wednesday.
RSL captain Kyle Beckerman scored the tying goal after TFC had taken an early lead via Maicon Santos. Jamison Olave, Alvaro Saborío and newcomer Paulo Araujo Jr. then added tallies to heap misery on a TFC side rocked my wholesale front-office changes earlier this week.
TFC finished the match with just 10 men after Spanish DP Mista was ejected for a dangerous challenge just six minutes after entering the game as a substitute.
For the third consecutive Champions League match, RSL gave up an early goal as a defensive error led to Santos' eighth-minute tally.
VIDEO: Watch the Game In Six minutes.
Defender Nat Borchers' poor back pass forced goalkeeper Nick Rimando to retreat back into his net, leaving TFC to pounce on the opportunity. O'Brian White retrieved the errant pass before feeding Santos, who easily finished past Rimando.
However, RSL found their equalizer 13 minutes later when Andy Williams, filling in at the creative midfielder role due to Javier Morales' injury, struck a well-hit corner kick that found Beckerman. The RSL captain rose unmarked to head home the tying tally.
Then, in the 40th minute, Real Salt Lake took the lead, again off of a set piece—and again off Williams. This time it was a free kick from 25 yards out to the far right of goal that found Olave for a header at the far post, handing RSL the 2-1 advantage at halftime.
The second half saw a little more open play. TFC's Dwayne De Rosario received a pass in the 51st minute that put him alone at the top of the area, but Rimando smothered his blast.
In the 56th minute, Saborío took on three defenders, and though he slipped past them with a nifty move, his shot from a tough angle was knocked aside by Frei.
The game would take a bad turn for Toronto in the 66th minute when second-half substitute Mista was issued a straight red card for an off-the-ball challenge on Beckerman. The infraction would leave TFC to fight with 10-men for the rest of the way.
Just two minutes later the man advantage would pay dividends for Real Salt Lake, as Will Johnson was taken down in the box, earning a penalty kick. Saborío stepped up and cooly struck the ball past Frei for the 3-1 advantage.
Real Salt Lake finished off TFC in the 80th minute with a goal by Paulo Araujo Jr., who was making his debut with RSL. The Brazilian striker, recently acquired on loan from USSF D-2 side Miami FC, received a square ball from Robbie Findley across the goal mouth, and the youngster tapped it in to seal the victory.
Toronto FC 1, at Real Salt Lake 4
CONCACAF Champions League
Rio Tinto Stadium
TOR -- Maicon Santos (O'Brian White) 8
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (Andy Williams) 21
RSL -- Jamison Olave (Andy Williams) 40
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio (penalty kick) 69
RSL -- Paulo Araujo Jr. (Robbie Findley, Ned Grabavoy) 80
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Nick Garcia, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Dan Gargan, Martin Saric (Nicholas Lindsay 46), Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Jacob Peterson (Mista 60), Maicon Santos, O'Brian White (Chad Barrett 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Raivis Hscanovics, Joseph Nane, Maksim Usanov, Jon Conway.
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell (Tony Beltran 28), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Nelson Gonzalez (Ned Grabavoy 68), Robbie Findley, Alvaro Saborio (Paulo Araujo Jr. 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Pablo Campos, Chris Schuler, Kyle Reynish.
TOR -- Martin Saric (caution; Tactical Foul) 44
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Dissent) 49
TOR -- Mista (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 66
Referee: Mauricio Morales
Referee's Assistants: -Marcos Quintero; Salvador Rodriguez
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic