HOUSTON, Texas (Saturday, September 12, 2015) – Real Salt Lake ended an eight-match road losing streak in convincing fashion on Saturday night, scoring a 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium to sweep the two-game season series against the Dynamo.
MF Javier Morales had one goal and one assist, while FW Devon Sandoval and FW Juan Manuel Martinez added second-half goals – Martinez’s goal coming in his first MLS start – as RSL leapfrogged the Colorado Rapids and tied the Dynamo in the standings at 9-11-8 (35 points).
In the 22nd minute, the Dynamo got the first big scoring chance of the night when Nathan Sturgis touched the ball into the box to Ricardo Clark in behind the RSL defense. Clark got a rocket of a shot away, but Rimando made the near-post save to knock it away for a corner kick.
Real Salt Lake had its first good chance in the 42nd minute when FW Joao Plata carried the ball wide to the left side of the box and fired a shot at the near post, but Tyler Deric speared it with the low glove save.
Finally, RSL broke through in first-half stoppage time.
Plata first played FW Juan Manuel Martinez in behind the Houston defense up the left side. Martinez shot on Deric and the Houston keeper made the initial save, but the rebound spilled to FW Devon Sandoval. He kept the ball alive for Morales to knock it into the net amidst the scrum for his seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead just before the halftime whistle.
Just after the start of the second half, Brad Davis nearly equalized, but was thwarted by Rimando. Giles Barnes lofted a cross in from the right side and Davis was left alone for a header that he put back toward the far post, but Rimando swiped the shot away with his left hand for the save to keep RSL up 1-0.
Sandoval doubled that lead in the 51st minute, again cleaning up a rebound to get on the board.
Martinez got into the box up the left side on a ball from Plata and his shot was blocked by Deric coming off his line. Sandoval smashed the putback into the opened net for his second goal of the season and a 2-0 RSL lead.
Houston pulled one goal back in the 65th minute on a dubious penalty call when a corner kick appeared to catch MF John Stertzer in the thigh, but referee Robert Sibiga pointed to the spot for a penalty. Davis converted the PK, hammering it into the top left corner to cut RSL’s lead in half at 2-1.
However, RSL didn’t let that hope last long as Martinez scored his first MLS goal just minutes later.
Morales carried the ball forward for RSL and faked a shot before laying the ball to his right for Martinez. He took a touch, then fired a low-angle shot inside the far post to push Salt Lake’s lead to 3-1 in the 68th minute.
That is how the match would end as RSL started a stretch of five matches in 16 days with a victory.
Salt Lake will stay on the road to face Santa Tecla FC in the second match of the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage in El Salvador on Tuesday. That match can be seen on Fox Soccer Plus and heard live on ESPN 700 with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m. MT. RSL will return to MLS play on September 19, hosting the LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – HOUvRSL
- With his start on Saturday, MF Javier Morales moved into sole possession of third place all-time with 206 regular season appearances for the Claret-and-Cobalt, surpassing former DF Nat Borchers. In addition, his assist was his 75th career MLS assist, moving him past former RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis into 14th on the league’s all-time list.
- With their yellow cards against FC Dallas on August 29, MF Luke Mulholland and DF Tony Beltran were unavailable for Saturday’s match while serving a suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
- FW Sebastian Jaime did not make the trip to Houston after his wife gave birth to the couple’s third child, Jonas Valentin Jaime. He was born one year to the day after the couple’s twins, Camila and Bautista, were born last season.
- FW Juan Manuel Martinez made his first MLS start with Real Salt Lake on Saturday after signing as a Designated Player in August. In scoring his first MLS goal, he became the sixth player in club history to score in their first start for RSL, joining Brian Dunseth, Matias Mantilla, Kenny Deuchar, Pablo Campos and Mulholland.
- MF Luis Silva subbed out of the match in the 28th minute with an injury.
HOUSTON DYNAMO 1-3 REAL SALT LAKE
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Houston Dynamo 0 1 1
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
RSL: Javier Morales 47+’
RSL: Devon Sandoval 51’
HOU: Brad Davis (PK) 65’
RSL: Juan Manuel Martinez (Javier Morales) 68’
HOU: Sheanon Williams (Yellow; Foul) 44’
RSL: Jordan Allen (Yellow; Foul) 53’
RSL: Aaron Maund (Yellow; Foul) 77’
HOU: Raul Rodrigeuez (Yellow; Foul) 86’
HOU: Nathan Sturgis (Yellow; Foul) 89’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Jordan Allen, Aaron Maund, Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luis Silva (John Stertzer 28’), Javier Morales; Juan Manuel Martinez, Devon Sandoval, Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia 87’).
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Abdoulie Mansally, Elias Vasquez, Luis Gil, Sebastian Saucedo.
Houston Dynamo (4-4-2): Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams, Raul Rodriguez, David Horst, A.J. Cochrane (Mauro Manotas 81’); Brad Davis, Nathan Sturgis, Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes; Will Bruin, Erick Torres (Oscar Garcia 46’).
Substitutes not used: Joe Willis, Taylor Hunter, Alexander Lopez, Leonel Miranda, Rasheed Olabiyi.
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Eric Boria
4th Official: Ismail Elfath
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 82