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Tony Beltran was far from anonymous during his first game back from injury Wednesday during Real Salt Lake's 2-0 loss (and 3-2 aggregate victory) against the Seattle Sounders FC.First, he made what many called the save of the year in the 36th minute, saving what was until then a scoreless game. With RSL keeper Nick Rimando caught out of goal — fending off one of 26 shots by Seattle — Sounders' Jeff Parke let rip a volley from the edges of the 18-yard box.The ball had goal written all over it, that it until Beltran came from nowhere to head the ball to safety."I'm not really sure what happened, it happened so fast," Beltran said. "But I think it was a cross-in and just kind of a half clearance and when Nick came out I made sure when he did that I was getting back in the goal just in case there was a rebound. Whoever struck it, struck it really well and I was able to make a good reaction and clear it of the goal."Seattle coach Sigi Schmid called the save an ultimate game changer."It was huge because if we get a goal in the first half then...you saw what happened when we got the first goal and they started to teeter a little bit," he said. "If we would have got that goal in the first half this place would have been even louder and just given us more time to get the third one."Then, in the 56th minute Beltran, who missed RSL's final eight regular season games as well as the opening leg against Seattle due to the red card suspension and a left adductor strain suffered in a MLS Reserve League contest against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 18, was whistled for having pulled down Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso in the box.Beltran received a yellow and the Sounders a penalty kick, which eventually became their first goal. "I thought it was a travesty, an absolute travesty," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "Our player got pulled down and...I don't know what happened, if [referee Jair Marrufo] just got color-blind at that moment or what, but that was ridiculous."Beltran said he hadn't been hit that hard in the face in a long time."I'm going to have to look at it again before I comment on it, but all I know is I took an elbow to the face, probably the hardest elbow I think I've ever had," Beltran said. "Probably almost broke my nose, so I'm not really sure where the foul was. But maybe when I see it again, I can recognize it."martyr@sltrib.comTwitter:Rsltribune.com

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