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(Photo: Brian Nicholson/Deseret News)
SANDY, Utah (AP) -- Paulo Araujo Jr. scored twice and Collen Warner added a goal to lead Real Salt Lake to a 3-1 victory over Cruz Azul of Mexico in their final group stage match in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night.
The victory gave Real Salt Lake the top spot in their group with 13 points from a 4-1-1 record, and extended its home unbeaten streak to 32 games in all competitions.
The defending Major League Soccer champions will have home-field advantage in the Champions League quarterfinals in February.
Cruz Azul came to Rio Tinto Stadium needing only a draw to win the group.
It pressed Real Salt Lake hard early, but did not score until Cesar Villaluz curled a shot into the top far corner of the goal from just outside the box in the 71st minute.
By then, Real Salt Lake had built a 3-0 lead.
Araujo started the scoring in the 43rd minute off passes from teammates Rauwshaun McKenzie and Collen Warner up the middle of the field.
The Brazilian forward streaked between Cruz Azul's Joel Huiqui and Adrian Cortes and chipped over sliding goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez, who had stopped Real Salt Lake's Pablo Campos on a penalty kick in the 32nd minute.
Araujo scored again in the 67th minute, latching onto a perfect cross from Robbie Findley into the middle of the area, before Warner calmly converted an easy breakaway just two minutes later off a pass from Andy Williams.
Cruz Azul already was assured of also reaching the quarterfinals, and finished second in the group with a 3-2-1 record for 10 points. Two of its assistant coaches were thrown off the bench in the final 15 minutes for complaining to the referee.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)