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Jul 4, 2024 12:05 am

RSL get back on track, end Dynamo’s unbeaten run

Real Salt Lake, Dynamo

Andres Gomez scored his 11th goal and assisted on two more, Braian Ojeda put his team in front for good in the second half and Real Salt Lake held on for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday in Sandy, Utah.

Diego Luna also scored a wonderful goal from long range just before halftime as Salt Lake (11-3-7, 40 points) preserved its seventh win in 10 home matches and moved into a tie on points atop the Western Conference with Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy, who meet on Thursday.

RSL overcame an early deficit one match after the Galaxy halted their 15-match unbeaten run on June 22.

The hosts finally secured a 90-minute victory over the Dynamo (8-7-6, 30 points) after failing to do so in six meetings in 2023 between the regular season, U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup playoffs.

Ibrahim Aliyu scored his team-leading sixth goal for Houston, which saw its six-match unbeaten run end, and Hector Herrera was involved in a second-half leveler that was ultimately credited as an own goal.

After Aliyu began the scoring in the eighth minute, Gomez began his big night in the 22nd minute when he took a chance that he could catch the Dynamo defense napping.

RSL’s Bode Hidalgo won a header at midfield but seemed to have directed it benignly toward Houston’s own penalty area. As Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark and his defenders tried to sort out who should claim the ball, Gomez snuck between all of them to poke home a finish.

Luna put Salt Lake in front 2-1 in the 42nd minute when he took a pass from Matt Crooks near the left end of the penalty arc, cut to his right to evade a Houston defender and unleashed a powerful 22-yard strike that beat Clark’s dive to the far post.

Houston leveled nine minutes after halftime when Herrera served an in-swinging early cross from the left that defender Andrew Brody redirected beyond his own goalkeeper, Zac MacMath.

Ojeda replied with the winner in the 67th minute on one of RSL’s best attacking sequences.

Cristian Arango swept down the right and attempted to play a give-and-go with Gomez into the penalty area. On the return pass, Arango whiffed on his shot attempt. However, Ojeda trailed the play, took a calm touch and guided an equally controlled finish into the bottom right corner.

–Field Level Media

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