Update: Saprissa won the night's match 2-1, but RSL wins the series 3-2 and advances to the CONCACAF finals beginning April 20, 2011.
Real Salt Lake face their next challenge in trying reach the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League with the second leg of their semifinal series vs. Deportivo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica, tonight at 8 p.m. Fans can catch the game on Fox Soccer, TeleFutura, ESPN Radio 700 or Juan 106.1 FM, or live streaming at CONCACAF.com, with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. Fans can also attend a watch party at Rio Tinto Stadium, which features and all-you-can-eat buffet for $25 per person.
Saprissa's home stadium is known as the "Monster's Cave" because of the team's hostile fans. "I'm not exactly sure what to expect in terms of the crowd and how hostile the environment will be, but we're preparing for the worst," RSL fullback Chris Wingert said. "We know we are in a good position after winning 2-0 at home, but at the same time, we realize that we still have a very difficult challenge ahead of us if we want to advance."
Interestingly, RSL could lose tonight's match and still win the series, which is decided by aggregate goals. RSL beat Saprissa at home 2-0 March 15 in the first leg of the series.
Here are the possible scenarios for the series outcome, courtesy of Real Salt Lake:
- RSL victory: Real Salt Lake advances to Final (aggregate series win determined by RSL's margin of victory)
- Draw: Real Salt Lake advances to Final (RSL wins series by two-goal aggregate margin)
- Saprissa wins by one goal: Real Salt Lake advances to Final (RSL wins series by one-goal aggregate margin)
- Saprissa wins 2-0: The series would be tied at 2-2 on aggregate, thereby forcing a 30-minute "mini-game" played in its entirety to determine a winner. Should the mini-game end tied, advancement will be determined via kicks from the penalty spot (Best-of-5).
- Saprissa wins by two goals, but RSL scores: Series tied on aggregate, but Real Salt Lake advances to Final via "away goals" tie-breaker
- Saprissa wins by at least three goals: Saprissa advances to Final (aggregate series win determined by Saprissa's margin of victory)
Photo: Kyle Beckerman fires a shot in RSL's 2-0 first leg win v. Saprissa. By Melissa Majchrzak, Real Salt Lake.