Despite playing the final 30 minutes, including stoppage time, down a man, the Houston Dynamo played Real Salt Lake to a scoreless draw tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium to extend their unbeaten streak to five consecutive matches overall, and four in a row away from home.
The Dynamo went down a man when MF Alex was issued a pair of yellow cards in the span of 60 seconds and was sent off by referee Robert Sibiga. The first caution came for a push on Real Salt Lake MF Albert Rusnák, and a minute later Alex was again shown yellow for leaving his studs up on a challenge with RSL MF Kyle Beckerman on a bouncing ball.
Despite being down a man for the last third of the match, the Dynamo managed to see out the game and keep their fifth clean sheet of the season to emerge with a vital road point.
Real Salt Lake had the first dangerous opportunity of the game in the 20th minute when midfielder João Plata received a long cross from Beckerman on the left side. Plata and forward Luis Silva played a give-and-go that allowed for Plata to fire a shot from 20 yards out, but the shot went just wide of the left post.
The Dynamo’s first dangerous opportunity came via forward Memo Rodriguez. In the 31st minute, Alex gathered a cleared ball in the midfield and played to Rodriguez in the left side. The Dynamo Academy alumnus took a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that caught RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando off guard and forced Rimando to parry it wide for a Houston corner kick.
As the first half was coming to an end, RSL had another unsuccessful attempt to break the tie. In the 42ndminute, Plata played a low cross from the right side to Silva in the middle of the box. Silva’s shot was deflected by defender Adolfo Machado. Midfielder Jefferson Savarino found the ball but pushed the ball just wide of the left post.
Early on the second half, RSL sought to break draw, but again saw the ball pass just by the goal line. In the 48th minute, Silva gave a back-heel pass to Savarino who shot the ball from a difficult angle on the right and ball went just past the goal.
Houston nearly stole the game in second-half stoppage time. After forwards Alberth Elis and Erick Torreswon a corner kick, defender Dylan Remick found himself unmarked six yards out from the goal, but his headed attempt off of midfielder Boniek García’s corner went just over the crossbar.
RSL had two more dangerous chances in the dying moments, but put both of their shots wide of the net before Sibiga whistled full time.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Saturday, August 12 at 8:00 p.m. CDT against San Jose Earthquakes at BBVA Compass Stadium (TICKETS).
Real Salt Lake (7-12-5, 26 pts.) 0-0 Houston Dynamo (9-7-7, 34 pts.)
MLS Week 22
August 5, 2017 – Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Chris Wingert (Sebastián Saucedo 87); Kyle Beckerman©, Sunday Stephen (Brooks Lennon 64); Jefferson Savariano (Yura Movsisyan 78), Albert Rusnák, João Plata; Luis Silva
Unused Substitutes: Lalo Fernandez, Danilo Acosta, Dave Horst, Luke Mulholland
Total shots: 21 (João Plata 6); Shots on goal: 0; Fouls: 15 (Chris Wingert 5); Offside: 1 (Luis Silva 1); Corner kicks: 5 (Albert Rusnák 4); Saves: 1 (Nick Rimando 1)
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, Dylan Remick; Juan David Cabezas, Ricardo Clark ©, Alex (ejected ; Andrew Wenger (Boniek García 78), Mauro Manotas (Erick Torres 68), Memo Rodriguez (Alberth Elis 56)
Unused Substitutes: Kevin Garcia, Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba, Romell Quioto
Total shots: 9 (Dylan Remick, Mauro Manotas, Memo Rodriguez 2); Shots on goal: 1 (Memo Rodriguez 1); Fouls: 11 (Adolfo Machado, Ricardo Clark, Memo Rodriguez 2); Offside: 3 (Leonardo, Andrew Wenger, Alex 1); Corner kicks: 5 (Alex, Boniek García 2); Saves: 0
RSL: Justen Glad (caution; foul) 59
HOU: Alex (caution; other) 64
HOU: Alex (ejected; second yellow card; foul) 65
RSL: Kyle Beckerman (caution; dissent) 71
HOU: Alberth Elis (caution; other) 81
HOU: A.J. DeLaGarza (caution; time wasting) 90+4
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Anderson
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Timothy Ford