Late lapse by RSL results in opening day tie

Late lapse by RSL results in opening day tie



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By DOUG ALDEN AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Even if Carlos Ruiz doesn't get to keep the official credit, he knows he had a role in FC Dallas' tying goal in the final minute of stoppage time.

Dallas rallied for the 2-2 tie against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, coming away with a point in the season opener with a goal on a lucky bounce just before the game ended.

Ruiz and goalie Nick Rimando were going for the ball when it bounced off of Ruiz and a defender and into the net. Ruiz got credit for heading it in.

"When I jumped, I think I touched the ball, too," Ruiz said with a shrug. "I don't know if the league is going to give me the goal or not. But it's good for us."

Clarence Goodson had an assist on the tying goal, which stunned the home fans for a few moments before they started booing as the players left the field.

"The fans deserved a win. We deserved a win," Rimando said. "For 93 minutes we were the best team out there."

Jeff Cunningham scored twice for Real, which fell to 0-1-2 in season openers.

Freddy Adu made his Salt Lake debut and had three shots go over the crossbar. Adu, acquired in a trade with D.C. United, boosted Salt Lake's overhauled offense, which outshot Dallas 10-3 in the first half.

"I would have loved to score a goal today, but that's not always our offense. We've got like 32 games, so I'm not worried about it," Adu said. "We've got another home game next weekend so I'm just focused on that."

Salt Lake finished with 14 shots, but only four of them were in the second half, when Real started playing much more conservatively. Defender Eddie Pope left the game with a hip pointer in the 61st minute.

Real's offense has improved, but the defensive collapse at the end was reminiscent of the team's first two seasons in the league.

"Here we go again," Real coach John Ellinger said. "We missed the playoffs last year by two points and we just gave two points away, that's how I look at it."

Dallas didn't have a shot on goal until Kenny Cooper got around the defense and kicked a shot off Rimando's hand and into the net in the 19th minute.

Cunningham tied it off a long pass from Chris Klein after defender Drew Moor fell, leaving Cunningham alone in front of the goal. Cunningham, who led the league in goals last season with 16, celebrated his first by dashing to the edge of the field and kissing a picture of himself on an ad.

Cunningham's second goal was an easy one. Dallas goalie Shaka Hislop deflected Jason Kreis' shot to the left, where Cunningham was all alone to punch in the rebound in the 51st minute.

"These two goals help, but honestly I would trade them for three points at home," Cunningham said. "We have a good team and we deserved a good start."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-04-07-07 2018MDT

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