Real Salt Lake Dominates Dynamo In Savarino Return
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake hosted Houston Dynamo at Rio Tinto Stadium on a great night that saw Real Salt Lake pick up all three points as Jefferson Savarino returned.
Real Salt Lake’s 2-0 win over Houston puts them third in the West, tied on points with second-placed FC Dallas and just four points behind conference leaders LAFC.
The win also ties Real Salt Lake’s best home start in history. They won five of their six games at the Rio Tinto Stadium to start the 2022 season. The only game in which they dropped points at home was when they drew 2-2 with Toronto in what Mastroeni later described as one of their most impressive performances of the year considering the way the team played.
There were no changes to the starting XI from a week ago when Real Salt Lake triumphantly beat FC Montreal on the road.
The contest began with Real Salt Lake dominating possession time, but neither club could generate a smooth attacking opportunity. Everything changed a quarter of an hour into the game when Real Salt Lake started turning their time on the ball into scoring opportunities.
Bobby Wood scored his third goal of the season in the 28th minute. Wood found a pocket of space 40 yards from goal, sent the ball to Maikel Chang who played a wonderful cross to the back post which Wood was able to get at the end.
Moments later, Justen Glad and Chang both had the chance to double the lead but failed to connect.
Real Salt Lake was having a lot of success in the air. Justin Meram, Andrew Brody, Aaron Herrera and Chang dominated the flanks and Houston had no answer to the aerial threat that Wood and Sergio Córdova possessed.
The first half ended in a fight. As the head referee whistled, Dynamo centre-back Tim Parker put his elbow into Córdova’s back, angering the Real Salt Lake players. Fortunately, no cards were shown and both sides entered the tunnel appropriately.
Real Salt Lake stormed out of the half with their hair on fire as Córdova was inches away from doubling the seconds lead into the half.
Houston settles in and begins scoring MacMath’s own goal, forcing Real Salt Lake to sink deeper. But just as Houston began to look dangerous, Real Salt Lake hit back with a devastating blow to the hopes of their traveling opposition.
Cordova doubles the bet
Córdova was spotted by a cross from Jasper Löffelsend which he calmly controlled before kicking the ball into the back of the net, but not before Dynamo keeper Michael Nelson was able to get a glove on the shot. Nelson watched in anguish as the ball rolled slowly down the line and into the back of the net for the game’s second goal.
As the second half progressed, the RSL faithful began to pick up voices as chants of “Savarino” echoed throughout the stadium. Luckily, the fans got their wish in the 70th minute when the Venezuela international entered the pitch as a replacement for Chang. When he entered, the whole stadium rose to applause.
The icing on the cake came in the 92nd minute when Meram played a ball to the back post from a free kick that found Justin Meram’s diving header who also managed to join Córdova and score goals in consecutive matches.
It was an emphatic performance from Real Salt Lake that dominated the game from start to finish.
Real Salt Lake travel to Vancouver next Saturday, June 4, with a scheduled kickoff at 5 p.m.
As always, the match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports app and KSL 5 TV or on KSL Sports dot com.