SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake’s stay in the first ever Leagues Cup Tournament was a short one.

Eduardo Vargas scored the only goal of the game in the 57th minute, as Tigres UANL defeated RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium, 1-0.

The Leagues Cup Tournament matches the top teams from Liga MX against MLS clubs. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to Champions League.

RSL had several scoring chances in front of the home fans, but could not capitalize.

“We had some quality opportunities to score tonight,” head coach Mike Petke said. “They are a better possession team and in the first half they had a lot of possession. Even though we were chasing their centerbacks a little bit, except for a header or two, we really kept them away from the goal. But they are a quality team and we were chasing shadows at times. We created some quality opportunities and just weren’t precise enough.”

After a scoreless first half, Damir Kreilach’s shot deflected off of Corey Baird and into the net for what appeared to be the game’s first goal. But Baird was ruled to be offside.

In the 51st minute, Joao Plata had an excellent chance on goal, but his shot hit the post, keeping the game scoreless.

Then in the 57th, Vargas got off a blast from roughly 40 yards away that deflected off the leg of RSL defender Justen Glad, took an awkward turn of direction, and beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

“It’s clear they’re very very talented team, but I think we created a lot of good chances,” Baird said. “They had the ball for a lot of the game, but I think we kept a good shape. They scored on a deflection and we had a shot that hit the post and had some other good chances just slightly outside tonight.” 

Each team has three shots on goal, with Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman making all three saves.

The game was interrupted in stoppage time by a cat that ran onto the field while Tigres had possession.

Real Salt Lake returns to MLS play Saturday night at FC Dallas.

“Having a game in a couple days helps when you’re coming off a draw at home against Minnesota that we weren’t happy about and then tonight, we lost at home against a very good side,” said defender Brooks Lennon. “They came out with their starting group, they played really well, so credit to them. I do think that we had our chances. I thought we were good defensively for the whole 90 minutes, just a couple unlucky things didn’t go our way. That’s life.”