Injury Depleted Real Salt Lake Concedes Late Goal In Game One Loss

Oct 29, 2023, 6:11 PM | Updated: Oct 31, 2023, 10:53 am

SANDY, Utah – Houston controlled the pace of play throughout, picking up a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in game one of a first-round playoff series.

No. 5 Real Salt Lake came up short, dropping the first of a best-of-three series against the No. 4 Houston Dynamo.

Houston took a first-half lead when Héctor Herrera beat Zac MacMath. The Dynamo continued to threaten throughout the half, but the Claret & Cobalt defense stood strong.

Diego Luna became the youngest goal scorer in franchise history when he took a pass from Anderson Julio and found the back of the net, tying the game 1-1 in the 54th minute.

RELATED: Diego Luna Scores Second Half Equalizer In Transition For Real Salt Lake

In the 79th minute, Amine Bassi scored the game-winner, taking advantage of an out-of-position MacMath after the keeper had already made a diving save on the play.

A frenzied final seven minutes of stoppage time saw RSL have their chances but come up empty in the 2-1 loss.

First Half

Playing without Justin Glad and Chicho Arango because of injury, Real Salt Lake opened its first-round matchup needing contributions from less heralded players.

Both teams spent the first five minutes getting a feel for each other before Houston mounted an attack that resulted in the first corner of the match for the Dynamo in the sixth minute. RSL was able to repel the set piece without incident.

Houston controlled possession for the first 20 minutes but had little to show for it, attempting just three shots with none on frame.

Breaking through in the 22nd minute Héctor Herrera controlled a pass from Adalberto Carrasquilla and beat Zac MacMath to the right post for a 1-0 lead.

Real’s first attacking chance came in the 35th minute when Dynamo keeper Steve Clark knocked a pass away on the goal line. Minutes later, Diego Luna missed wide right with Real Salt Lake’s first shot attempt of the match.

RSL’s Bryan Oviedo received a yellow card in the 44th minute.

Houston outshot RSL 9-2 and had the only two shots on frame in the first half.

Second Half

On Houston’s first attack of the half, Bode Hidalgo fell to the turf while challenging the ball. After RSL cleared the ball out of play, Hidalgo was replaced by Kevon Lambert.

In the 54th minute, Anderson Julio leaked out and found Diego Luna for the game-tying goal. Julio entered in the second half after not starting the game.

Houston continued to attack, piling up 16 shots through 68 minutes of play.

The Dynamo jumped back in front when Amine Bassi took a rebound and blasted a shot for a 2-1 lead in the 79th minute.

RELATED: What Does Path To MLS Cup Look Like For Real Salt Lake?

Julio received a yellow card minutes later after a dangerous late tackle took out the Dynamo keeper.

Looking to ice the game away during seven minutes of stoppage time, Houston’s Artur fired a deep shot that deflected off the crossbar.

Houston finished with 23 shots, five on frame, compared to just seven attempts and two on frame for RSL.

Follow Real Salt Lake With KSL Sports

These teams will face each other in the second leg of the best-of-three first round when Houston travels to Sandy, Utah on Monday, November 6 to take on Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT) at Rio Tinto Stadium.

KSL Sports coverage of Real Salt Lake can be found here.

All Major League Soccer games are broadcasted on Apple TV with MLS Season Pass.

All Real Salt Lake English-language radio coverage for the 2023 season and beyond will be carried on various KSL radio signals. KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM / 1160 AM) are both stations under the Bonneville International umbrella.

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Injury Depleted Real Salt Lake Concedes Late Goal In Game One Loss