Otto Greule Jr
Salt Lake's Champions League run came to an end with a scoreless draw on Tuesday night, while Herediano are through to the quarterfinals.
Real Salt Lake had a match at home in the freezing cold against Herediano, from Costa Rica, and all they needed was a win to advance to the quarterfinals. They looked set to do it too, or at least get on the front foot, as Fabian Espindola rounded Leo Moreira and had an open net to shoot at. But Espindola's shot went high and the opportunity was gone, as was their run in the CONCACAF Champions League. Herediano packed men behind the ball and held on for a scoreless draw, which was good enough to eliminate RSL and earn the visitors a spot in the knockout stages.
Espindola's chance was RSL's best of the match and it just clipped the crossbar before going over. Herediano had a golden opportunity of their own, rattling the bost just before the hour mark, but for much of the match the finishing left much to be desired.
Salt Lake had the bulk of possession and after firing away in the second half, only to be denied by Moreira, they watched much of their time on the ball lead to nothing. Crosses failed to meet teammates and with so many Herediano defenders at the top of the box, they couldn't pass or dribble their way into dangerous spots. As time ticked down, Herediano started wasting time, too, frustrating the RSL players, but doing well to see out the match.
When the final whistle blew, Salt Lake slumped to the turf and the boisterous crowd went silent as Herediano celebrated. They had gone on the road and gotten the job done to book a spot in the quarterfinals.