Two goals in the first half paved the way for an impressive road win by Columbus. Salt Lake never managed to find a way back into the game in the remaining 80 minutes.
Columbus only had four first-half goals coming into the match, but shocked Rio Tinto Stadium -- where it had never won -- with two goals in the opening 10 minutes. Robbie Rogers assisted them both.
The first, off a quickly taken throw-in, fell to Eddie Gaven at the far post, where no defenders had bothered tracking his run.
The second came off a cross that rookie Tommy Heinemann powered home with a towering header.
"I think [Columbus] came out with a game plan and kind of caught us napping a couple times," Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams said. "In that 20 minute span I think they took over the game and created chances after chances after chances."
RSL's best chance fell to Jean Alexandre, starting up top for the suspended Alvaro Saborio, after Fabian Espindola cut the ball back. However, the Haitian knocked his effort high.
Despite heavy pressure in the second half, including a tidy Espindola shot, Columbus held on for the win.
Following the final whistle, Espindola and Julius James had to be pulled away from each other to prevent a physical altercation.