Real Salt Lake 2 at Houston Dynamo 1
August 18, 2018; Houston; BBVA Compass Stadium
Real Salt Lake (11-10-5, 38 points); Houston Dynamo (7-11-6, 27 points)
Man of the Match: Albert Rusnák came on in the first half for the injured Pablo Ruiz and provided just the offensive spark necessary for an RSL team that was generating chances to score, but couldn’t find a way to best Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis. In stoppage time, he took the game over, scoring in the 93rd minute and then again in the 100th minute – well into added time – to become the first player in MLS history to score a game-tying and game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time.
Telling Stat: RSL outshot the Dynamo 25-12. And it wasn’t even that close. The field was so tilted in Salt Lake’s favor in the first half that Oscar Boniek Garcia’s goal was the first shot on goal for the Dynamo in the 36th minute. By that point, Real Salt Lake had 10 shots and two shots on goal, making the night difficult for Willis from the early stages.
What You Missed: In a night filled with workmanlike performances across the RSL roster, there were several players who kept the match interesting throughout. Luis Silva made his return to the starting lineup and finished with five shots. Jefferson Savarino put four of his five shots on frame for the match and had four more chances created for teammates. Before leaving the match injured, Ruiz was playing perhaps his best game in an RSL uniform. Sebastian Saucedo came off the bench and contributed on both scoring plays, logging an assist and drawing the winning penalty. And finally, Andrew Putna made two big saves in the second half of his first MLS start to earn the victory.
So What: In a compact schedule, RSL earned four points out of nine possible. The win on Saturday saw the club climb to fourth in the Western Conference and within striking distance of the top two teams. In earning just the second road win of the season, it could possibly provide some momentum heading into another road contest next week against the Colorado Rapids. With a chance to lift the Rocky Mountain Cup for the 10th time in the last 12 years, there will be plenty to play for.