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March 24, 2012
Chivas USA stuns RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium

Casey Townsend’s 72nd-minute goal gave Chivas USA their first win of the season, 1-0 over Real Salt Lake Saturday night.
Casey Townsend’s 72nd-minute goal gave Chivas USA their first win of the season, 1-0 over Real Salt Lake Saturday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
SANDY, Utah---Chivas USA scored a big upset Saturday night, blanking Real Salt Lake 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium, as Head Coach Robin Fraser picked up a win against his former team.

“The place that the win took place is much less significant than the win,” said Fraser.” We started out the season playing pretty well and not having any results to show for it. Tonight we had to come to what is arguably the hardest place to play in the league and these guys just fought, gritted and gutted out a victory.”

Rookie Casey Townsend scored in the 72nd minute to give the Goats their first win of the 2012 season. Ante Jazic worked the ball all the way down to the far corner before sending a cross into the area. Townsend beat an RSL defender for the ball and poked a right footed shot from the top of the six into the net for his first MLS score.

The loss was the firt of the season for RLS, 2-1-0 (6pts).

““It felt really good,” said Townsend.” Obviously the first goal always feels good and I had been waiting for that for a long time. I’m just glad that it helped us win.

“That is a really big win for us. We felt we were a little unfortunate not to get a result out of our first two games and we did what we needed to do. To come in here and get three points from a good team at their own stadium is big-time for us.”

RSL appeared to have taken the early lead when Chris Shuler scored on a free kick, but referee Mark Kadlecik called the goal back because he had not blown his whistle to initiate the play.

Nick Rimando made a pair of big saves to keep Chivas from taking an early lead. In the 15th minute. Laurent Courtois sent an inswinging corner kick into the area from the right side. Peter Vagenas took a swing at the ball, and Rimando stopped it, then the RSL goalkeeper stopped a second effort by Rauwshan McKenzie.

Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy came up with his own game saving stop in the 22nd minute on a shot by Fabian Espindola. Ned Grabavoy laid a ball off to Espindola at the top of the box. The RSL forward cut into the six and took a shot that was destined for the lower right corner of the net, but Kennedy made a full extension dive to push the ball away.

The Chivas defense limited RSL to only three shots on goal for the entire game.

“I thought our defenders played extremely well,” said Fraser.” I thought our midfielders played responsible most of the night in making it difficult for them to get clear cut opportunities down the middle of the field. On top of that it was a great effort. Casey Townsend takes a lot of pressure off of us by winning these headers. At the end of the day I just can’t say enough about the team effort.”

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