FRISCO, Texas – Brek Shea drilled a penalty kick to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead just before halftime, but Real Salt Lake’s Emiliano Bonfigli answered back in 72nd minute as the clash between the two Western Conference rivals ended in a 1-1 tie Wednesday night at FC Dallas Stadium.
Shea’s goal came after RSL defender Tony Beltran was called for a handball in the box. The ball appeared to graze Beltran’s elbow, and the questionable call left the visitors perplexed.
Real Salt Lake, who were without star striker Fabián Espíndola, failed to get anything going offensively in the first half as they failed to manage a single shot on goal in the opening period after the fifth minute.
Their best chance at scoring came in the second minute when Paulo Junior created an opportunity for Álvaro Saborío, but the shot was saved by FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who made his second start of the season in place of the injured Kevin Hartman.
However, the second half was a different story. Bonfigli came on as a substitute in the 69th minute and just three minutes later scored the equalizer, giving him his first career MLS goal. After a spell of possession for the visitors, Will Johnson found Bonfigli's run with a chipped ball, and the youngster took one touch before finishing low past Seitz.
Without suspended striker Blas Pérez, FC Dallas came out in a 4-4-2 formation and relied heavily on Fabián Castillo and Scott Sealy.
Castillo pressured the Salt Lake backline throughout the first half and had a chance to give FCD an early lead in the 19th minute but goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a nice save.
Just two minutes later, Castillo had a golden opportunity from the center of the box, but Sealy was at the wrong place at the wrong time and blocked the shot.
In the latter portion of the game, RSL were able to limit Dallas even without 2010 MLS Defender of the Year Jámison Olave, who was suspended after being ejected in last weekend’s 3-1 loss at San Jose.
FC Dallas lost another midfielder in Carlos Rodríguez, who was stretchered off after injuring his arm in the second half, allowing Jackson Gonçalves to make his first appearance of the season after being recalled from his loan to Brazilian first-division side Cruzeiro.
With the point, FC Dallas move to 3-3-2 on the year. They travel to Los Angeles on Saturday to take on the Galaxy.
Real Salt Lake are now winless in three and move to 5-3-1. They will host winless Toronto at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.