The Houston Dynamo rallied from an early deficit at Real Salt Lake this evening, but a 75th-minute goal by RSL winger Jefferson Savarino was enough to give the home side a 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
In a contest which was noteworthy for being the final home appearance for legendary RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Houston midfielder Boniek García reached a pair of notable milestones of his own. García made his 200th appearance for the club in league play, becoming just the fourth player in Dynamo history to do so; and in the 14th minute he became the fourth Dynamo player to eclipse 15,000 minutes played for La Naranja.
Real Salt Lake took the lead in the game’s first minute after Corey Baird won the ball at midfield and sprinted to the top of the box. Baird finished at the near post 35 seconds into the contest for his fifth goal of the season and the second-fastest goal scored in Real Salt Lake history.
Video review was used in the 23rd minute to nullify a goal from Tommy McNamara. The play began with Mauro Manotascapitalizing on a defensive mistake at the edge of the box, the Colombian forward forced a save from Rimando and the rebound fell to Alberth Elis near the penalty spot. The Honduran international was eventually ruled to have been in an offside position at the time of Manotas’ shot, thus disallowing McNamara’s subsequent scoring volley.
Houston equalized in the 32nd minute after Elis forced a save at the near post. Midfielder Tomás Martínez recovered the rebound, dribbled around a defender and fired a right-footed shot past Rimando from a tight angle for his fifth goal of the season.
The Dynamo looked as though they had taken the lead just a minute after equalizing, as Elis ran onto a brilliant through ball from Martínez and slipped a shot past an onrushing Rimando, but the Honduran was ruled offside by the assistant referee.
Houston continued to knock on the door prior to the end of the first half. Martinez and Manotas combined for a one-two at the top of the box to create space for Adam Lundkvist at the far post. The Swedish defender’s shot was blocked in the 38th minute and the ball floated inches past McNamara at the opposite post for a corner kick.
Salt Lake eventually took the lead in the 75th minute after midfielder Sebastián Saucedo found Savarino at the top of the box. Savarino’s hard, low shot just beat a diving effort from Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric and slipped into the bottom corner of the far post.
Salt Lake forward Albert Rusnák forced a save in the 72nd minute with an effort from outside the box. The local side would follow up as Saucedo found Baird inside the box, but his header was eventually handled by Deric.
The Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6 for Fan Appreciation Night presented by BBVA and a special send-off for captain and U.S soccer legend DaMarcus Beasley, who will be playing his final professional game. Beasley announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the season in May.