SANDY, Utah (Saturday, September 17, 2016) – It took 15 games, but Real Salt Lake suffered its first home defeat of the 2016 season on Saturday night, dropping a 1-0 result to the Houston Dynamo to fall to 8-1-6 at Rio Tinto Stadium this season.
In a methodical match with a deliberate pace, there were only two shots on goal, both from the Dynamo on quick counter attacks after RSL turnovers. The first was scored by Alex while the second made for a great save from RSL GK Nick Rimando.
Real Salt Lake outshot Houston 3-1 in the first half, but the Dynamo made that one shot count to take the first-half lead.
In the 36th minute, MF John Stertzer was pressured into a turnover by the double-team of Alex ad Ricardo Clark 30 yards from goal. Clark won the ball and played it to Alex, who went 1v1 with Rimando before lifting a shot into the net to put RSL into a 1-0 hole.
Salt Lake continued the put pressure on the Houston defense, but couldn’t force a save from Joe Willis until the 90th minute.
One of the better scoring chances came in the 68th minute when FW Joao Plata sent a free kick in from the right side that found the head of FW Juan Manuel Martinez. However, the headed shot went just beyond the far post and high and the 1-0 deficit held.
Rimando made a highlight-reel save in the 86th minute, denying Will Bruin of a late goal after Bruin got in 1v1 with the keeper. Bruin tried to put the ball under the oncoming Rimando, but he made the stop and then the ball was cleared to keep RSL within striking distance.
Martinez finally got RSL’s first shot on goal in the 90th minute, but his right-footed shot from the middle of the box was easily covered by Willis. RSL finished the night with 15 shots and 65% of the possession, but in the end was left with the first home loss in nearly a year.
Real Salt Lake remains at home against West-leading FC Dallas on September 24, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
GAME NOTES – RSLvHOU
- MF Javier Morales was out of action after suffering a quad strain last week in a 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers. MF Sunny was also out of the lineup, serving a one-game suspension leveed by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
- FW Ricardo Velazco was on the bench for the first time for Real Salt Lake after the product of the RSL-Arizona Academy and Real Monarchs signed with RSL last week.
- The loss was RSL’s first at home since a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on October 17, 2015. In Jeff Cassar’s tenure as Head Coach, RSL is 26-6-17 at home in MLS play.
REAL SALT LAKE 0-1 HOUSTON DYNAMO
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Houston Dynamo 1 0 1
HOU: Alex (Ricardo Clark) 36’
HOU: Alex (Caution; Foul) 33’
HOU: Sheanon Williams (Caution; Time Wasting) 54’
HOU: Cristian Maidana (Caution; Dissent) 69’
RSL: Tony Beltran (Caution; Foul) 76’
HOU: Joe Willis (Caution; Time Wasting) 81’
HOU: Ricardo Clark (Caution; Foul) 85’
HOU: Eric Alexander (Caution; Time Wasting) 93+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Justen Glad (Omar Holness 79’), Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer (Jordan Allen 51’); Juan Manuel Martinez, Luke Mulholland (Olmes Garcia 69’), Joao Plata; Yura Movsisyan.
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez, Chris Schuler, Ricardo Velazco, Chris Wingert.
Houston Dynamo (4-1-4-1): Joe Willis; Sheanon Williams, Raul Rodriguez, Jalil Anibaba, DaMarcus Beasley; Collen Warner; Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Alex (Andrew Wenger 57’), Cristian Maidana (Eric Alexander 75’); Mauro Manotas (Will Bruin 84’).
Substitutes not used: Callum Irving, Keyner Brown, Jose Escalante, David Horst.
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Gianni Facchini, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 72