Real Salt Lake settled for a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas Saturday after the early ejection of Abdoulie Mansally put the side down a man.
The 17th minute red card changed the complexion of a match that Salt Lake should have won. With both the New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders dropping points Saturday, this match constituted a missed opportunity for Salt Lake to gain ground in the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
Still, given the trying circumstance of going doing a man early and attempting to bounce back from a devastating defeat on Tuesday, Salt Lake’s players and coaches seemed pleased with the result, calling it a positive step in the right direction.
In addition, the match saw numerous positives including the return of Chris Schuler to the first-team lineup. He partnered effectively with Nat Borchers and made a few impressive plays to help Salt Lake salvage a point.
Luis Gil also had an effective match, consistently threatening the Dallas back line and earning plaudits from coach Jason Kreis.
Still, these performances weren’t enough for Salt Lake to get the victory.
Real Salt Lake came out on attack and should have scored in the 5th minute when a free kick from Javier Morales found two wide open Salt Lake attackers inside the Dallas six yard box. Robbie Findley and Alvaro Saborio collided going for the ball, leaving it to trickle away harmlessly.
Dallas had opportunities as well. The visitors nearly got on the board in the 10th minute when Jackson beat Borchers to a cross and lobbed an open header at Salt Lake’s goal; however, Nick Rimando made a diving save to keep the match scoreless.
The match changed dramatically when Mansally’s reckless sliding challenge on Jackson left both players down for a few minutes. When Mansally got up in the 17th minute, he was shown a red card and escorted to the side line for additional treatment before returning to the locker room.
Dallas began using its man advantage to create good chances. In the 30th minute Fabian Castillo drove up the right side of the Salt Lake defense and barley missed with a narrow angel cross/shot which fell harmlessly past the far post.
Dallas threatened again in the 34th minute when a similar play led Castillo to send in a cross that Jackson flicked on frame. Rimando was able to deflect the shot away to keep the score level.
Salt Lake barely survived until half without giving up a score, leaving Jason Kreis with a difficult decision to make at half. Kreis told the team at halftime that he was fine with one point, but that the full three points would simply be “icing on the cake.”
Still, Salt Lake created chances in the second half. In the 49th minute, Javier Morales slipped a pass to Ned Grabavoy behind the Dallas back line. Grabavoy turned and fired on goal, only for the shot to be saved by Chris Seitz.
Dallas still had chances. Aided by a slip from Tony Beltran, Castillo got into the box wide open in the 59th minute and sent in a dangerous cross that Chris Schuler was able to deflect away. A foul on Dallas in the box would end that threat.
Salt Lake briefly took the lead in the 60th minute when Saborio got on the end of a long ball from Nick Rimando and took on three defenders. The Costa Rican international found a pocket of space amidst the three and fired a shot that beat Seitz to give Salt Lake the lead.
The match wasn’t over yet. Dallas equalized in the 72nd minute on a counter attack. It happened when Je-Vaughn Watson drove up the right side of the Salt Lake defense and beat Beltran. He then sent in a cross that fell to Kenny Cooper, who put away the easy finish.
In the 80th minute, Kreis opted to hold on for the draw, pulling Morales for Yordany Alvarez. That brought in a second defensive midfielder and removed all but Saborio from the initial three attacking options.
Salt Lake managed to survive and walk away with a hard earned point.
Category: Game Review