Coming off a disappointing 0-1 loss on the road to Columbus Crew SC, the Houston Dynamo looked to shake off their losing streak against visiting Real Salt Lake. Unfortunately the Dynamo were unable to snap that streak against RSL as the Dynamo gave up goals late in stoppage even though they held the lead for the majority of the game.
A poor turnover by Darwin Cerén led to the first chance in the game for Real Salt Lake. RSL would gain possession and start a counter attack led by Joao Plata. Plata got his head up and picked out Jefferson Savarino who was 1v1 in the 12th minute with Joe Willis, but Willis closed the space down well and denied an opening goal by the visitors.
RSL knocked on the door in the 15th minute and 16th minute. First Plata played a ball across the mouth of goal which Luis Silva tried to convert, but his shot was off the mark. Then Savarino and Kreilach combined to get a shot on goal, but Alejandro Fuenmayor was able to clear the ball off the line.
The early portion of the game would continue to be dominated by RSL with their offense regularly breaking down the Dynamo defense, but Fuenmayor and Philippe Senderos were often there to make a block. The Dynamo struggled to connect passes in the final third which often led to RSL breakaways.
In the 30th minute a foul by Cerén on Plata at the top of the box led to a free kick for the visitors in a very dangerous place. Plata would step up to take it, but his effort is blocked by the wall leading to a corner. On the other side Romell Quioto would earn a free kick outside the 18 yard box not long afterwards. Quioto’s free kick would be blocked by the wall, but it fell to Oscar Boniek García whose effort was deflected to put the Dynamo up 1-0 in the 36th minute.
The halftime whistle would blow with the Dynamo leading 1-0. RSL had outplayed Houston for most of the half, but the Dynamo capitalized on their chance and got a goal. Following Boniek’s 36th minute strike the Dynamo would reclaim some of the momentum, but RSL still looked organized defending.
RSL came out after halftime with their same organized and pressing style that we saw the first half. It often kept Houston’s attackers off the ball and forced them to defend, but in the 54th minute Romell Quioto nearly helped the Dynamo find their second goal of the game. He finally got the ball with space in front and he ran at goal. Dodging one tackle, he tried to get the ball to Memo Rodríguez, but it the pass was picked off by Aaron Herrera.
Mauro Manotas tried to make his mark on the game in spectacular fashion. After winning the ball near the center circle he saw RSL goalkeeper Andrew Punta off his line and tried to chip him from midfield. The effort wasn’t off by much, but it was just over the top. A few minutes later Manotas would try and get Quioto in on goal with a great run and ball to the Honduran. Quioto connected with it while being well marked, but it struck the top of the crossbar.
Houston would press for another goal in the 72nd minute with Manotas again involved. After an inch perfect pass by Boniek, Manotas would find himself 1v1 with RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna, but Putna came up with a big save to keep the score 1-0 in Houston’s favor.
Real Salt Lake would find their way back into the game in stoppage time. The Dynamo sat a little deeper as they looked to defend their lead, but the substitute Albert Rusnák was able to equalize with a fantastic strike to beat Joe Willis.
Things would get worse for the Dynamo in the final minute of stoppage time. DaMarcus Beasley brought down Sebastián Saucedo in the box and center referee Armando Villarreal blew the whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. After looking at VAR the penalty was confirmed. Rusnák stepped up and converted the penalty making it 1-2 to RSL in final moments of the game.
After 90+ minutes the final whistle would sound with Real Salt Lake walking out of BBVA Compass Stadium with all three points. The Dynamo once again tried to defend their lead late in the game which meant sitting deeper and allowing their opponent more time on the ball in Houston’s half. It’s a familiar story line for Houston this season. Having a lead and giving it up late. The Dynamo were unfortunate to not convert some of their chances, but the same can be said of RSL on the other side.
The Dynamo next play Thursday August 23rd when they take on FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium at 8 PM CT.
36’ HOU: Oscar Boniek García
90’+3’ RSL: Albert Rusnák
90’+10’ RSL: Albert Rusnák (penalty)
33’ RSL: Pablo Ruiz (yellow card)
58’ RSL: Aaron Herrera (yellow card)
82’ RSL: Damir Kreilach (yellow card)
87’ RSL: Sunny (yellow card)
90’ RSL: Jefferson Savarino (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Joe Willis; DaMarcus Beasley, Philippe Senderos, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Andrew Wenger (86’ Adolfo Machado); Darwin Cerén, Oscar Boniek García , Tomás Martínez (89’ Arturo Álvarez); Romell Quioto (72’ Ronaldo Peña), Mauro Manotas, Memo Rodríguez
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Andrew Putna; Aaron Herrera, Justin Glad, Nick Besler, Books Lennon; Sunny, Pablo Ruiz (39’ Albert Rusnák); Joao Plata (78’ Sebastián Saucedo), Damir Kreilach, Jefferson Savarino; Luis Silva (69’ Corey Baird)