Real Salt Lake Forces Game Three With Shootout Victory Over Houston Dynamo

Nov 6, 2023, 9:29 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 10:15 am

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake took advantage of a late free kick and Zac MacMath stepped up to stop the first penalty kick he faced, giving RSL the win over Houston.

No. 5 Real Salt Lake beat No. 4 Houston Dynamo in the second leg of a best-of-three first-round series. Game three will be played in Houston on Saturday, November 11.

RELATED: Jefferson Savarino Free Kick Ties Score In Second Half

Chicho Arango entered in the 56th minute and completely changed the tenor of the match. A physical but not overly productive Real Salt Lake offense turned into a juggernaut in the final thirty minutes.

With its season on the line, RSL peppered Houston with 11 shots and three on frame in the second half. In the 70th minute, Jefferson Savarino deposited a free kick into the goal to tie the game.

In PK’s, Zac MacMath stopped the first shot he faced. Real Salt Lake made all five of their penalties to remain alive.


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First Half

Similar to match one, Houston completely controlled possession in the opening minutes. The relentless attack produced a corner kick in the eighth minute for the Dynamo that came up empty.

After some physical play from RSL and a foul against Andrés Gómez gave Houston a free kick in dangerous territory. Franco Escobar fired the free kick into the box just over the heads of two teammates and out of play.

Houston picked up a pair of yellow cards before the 20th minute as the tension built from RSL forcing action.

Justen Glad earned a yellow card for a dangerous tackle in the 26th minute that gave Houston a penalty kick. Zac MacMath turned away Amine Bassi’s first attempt at the right post, but Bassi followed with a rebound goal.

Braian Ojeda earned a yellow card in the 33rd minute.

Following a corner kick, Bryan Oviedo blasted a right-footed shot over the crossbar. It was the second shot attempt of the match for RSL.
Houston took a 1-0 lead into the halftime dressing room.
The first half ended with five combined shots. Only Houston’s two attempts were on frame in the opening 45 minutes. Real Salt Lake was whistled for 11 fouls compared to three for Houston. Each team picks up two yellow cards in the half.

Second Half

A third yellow card was issued to each side within seven minutes of play in the second half.

Chicho Arango and his six goals were inserted into the match in the 56th minute. Arango had missed several games with a hamstring injury.

Immediately after Arango entered, Real built its most positive attack. RSL ultimately came up empty when Steve Clark fell on a Braian Ojeda shot. Arango came up empty moments later in transition as RSL scrambled to close the 1-0 deficit.

In the 64th minute, Arango forced a turnover in the offensive end and lifted a right-footed ball that sailed just beyond the post.

Jefferson Savarino evened the score at one with a free kick from just outside the box.

A frenzied final 20 minutes saw both teams gain scoring chances but neither could convert. After 90 minutes of play with a 1-1 tie, leading to penalty kicks to decide the winner.

Penalty Kicks


Houston 0



Houston 1



Houston 2



Houston 3



Houston 4


Follow Real Salt Lake With KSL Sports

Houston will host Real Salt Lake in the final leg of their first-round series on Saturday, November 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (MT).

Find KSL Sports coverage of Real Salt Lake here.

 Apple TV with MLS Season Pass broadcasts all Major League Soccer games.

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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Real Salt Lake Forces Game Three With Shootout Victory Over Houston Dynamo