Real Salt Lake Pinches Point On The Road Against Houston In First Of Three Consecutive Road Fixtures

Jul 31, 2021, 8:53 PM
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake Twitter...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has drawn 0-0 with the Houston Dynamo to begin their three road fixtures over the next week. It was just the second time this season in which RSL has concluded a game in a scoreless draw.

“A lot of hard work from the guys tonight despite going down a man we worked hard,” Zac MacMath said following the conclusion of the game. “We have got a strong mentality, especially coming off the strong win last week and tonight’s draw. We have a difficult week ahead of us but our group is strong. ”

Manager Freddy Juarez opted for an identical lineup that beat Colorado 3-0 at home a week ago besides swapping Zac MacMath for David Ochoa in goal who is suffering from quad tightness.

“We got the mentality. The mentality was fantastic,” Juarez said at the conclusion of the game. “I thought in the first half it was hard to find the tempo of the game but we responded in the second (half) and then suffered the red card but a tremendous effort by the guys.”

Humidity Hurts

The fixture began with both teams looking to settle themselves into the game. It was a relatively mellow opening quarter of an hour as RSL looked to build out from the back and Houston hoped to capitalize on the counter-attack.

RSL’s best moment of the half came when Maikel Chang rattled the left post from 22 yards out, Damir Kreilach followed up with a header into the grass only to be easily saved by the Dynamo keeper.

Houston, on the other hand, hit the woodwork themselves after a shot from distance was denied by the right post.

The match was squared at 0-0 at the half, much to the disdain of Aaron Herrera who was quoted saying his teammates and himself “needed to work harder off the ball.”

That work rate did not change in the second half as RSL looked to be struggling physically the longer the half went on with the starting players present on the pitch.

Then, a beautiful ball was played by Justin Meram in and through for Albert Rusnák who was unable to hit the target and instead rattled the corner off the post and the woodwork.

Later in the game, Anderson Julio was brought into the game and failed to hit the target from 8 yards as the Dynamo defense collapsed. When Julio took the shot, the Dynamo goalkeeper was nowhere to be seen.

RSL was unable to punish Houston on the chances that they created.

Newly signed Dynamo forward and former RSL striker Corey Baird had the best opportunity of the game to score when he found space in between Marcelo Silva and Justen Glad on the six-yard box but skied his shot reaching for the ball.

Glad Sees Red

The match was then turned on its head when Glad was shown his second yellow card in the 87th minute and RSL was subsequently reprimanded to 10-men. Glad grabbed the jersey of his opposition and the referee had no hesitation in showing Glad his second yellow of the evening.

From there, RSL entered survival mode in an attempt to pinch a point from BBVA Compass Stadium.

Juarez brought Erik Holt and Everton Luiz into the game to further secure defensive structure.

Then, Baird hit a half volley from just inside the area, and MacMath needed to make a fingertip save to deny Baird of a late score.

Nonetheless, RSL was able to hang on for a draw and pick up a valuable point on the road against Houston.

They will next travel to Los Angeles for a date with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, August 4. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. and will be available to stream via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV app or on KSL Sports dot come.


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Real Salt Lake Pinches Point On The Road Against Houston In First Of Three Consecutive Road Fixtures