RSL stay alive with penalty-kick win over Dynamo

League: MLS

Posted on: 07 Nov, 2023 at 05:11 AM

Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Luna scored the deciding goal in a penalty-kick shootout, leading Real Salt Lake past the Houston Dynamo on Monday night in Sandy, Utah, and extending the teams' first-round Western Conference playoff series to a decisive third match.

The match finished 1-1 through regulation, and RSL won the shootout 5-4.

Salt Lake goalie Zac MacMath saved the first attempt of the shootout, from Amine Bassi. Each player from both teams converted the rest of the way.

The best-of-three series will be settled on Saturday in Houston. The Dynamo took the opener 2-1 at home on Oct. 29.

Bassi opened the scoring for Houston in the 27th minute, and Jefferson Savarino responded for RSL in the 70th minute.

With RSL looking to spark the offense, Cristian Arango entered the match in the 55th minute. The Colombian forward, who scored six goals in 11 appearances for Salt Lake upon returning to MLS this summer, had multiple chances at the equalizer.

In the 58th minute, Arango's header off a cross from Luna was saved by keeper Steve Clark.

Then in the 64th minute, Arango's right-footed strike from well outside the box just missed to the left of the goal.

Savarino tied the match in the 70th minute on a free kick from the edge of the area.

Houston held a slight edge in possession and led 1-0 at the halftime whistle.

Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad was shown a yellow for his hard tackle on Franco Escobar in the penalty area in the 27th minute.

MacMath saved Bassi's initial shot on the ensuing penalty kick, but the Houston midfielder scored on the rebound for his second goal of the series. Bassi scored a team-leading 10 goals in MLS regular season play.

Real Salt Lake failed to register a shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes.

The winner of the first-round series will advance to play eighth-seeded Sporting Kansas City, who swept top-seeded St. Louis City in two matches.

--Field Level Media