Real Salt Lake 2, Houston Dynamo 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
Though Kyle Beckerman isn't quite accustomed to coming off the bench, he made the most of it on Wednesday night, scoring the decisive goal in the 82nd minute, lifting Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 home win over the Houston Dynamo.
The home side scored first in the 34th minute, when Sebastian Saucedo sent a diagonal cross into Luis Silva, who deftly headed it into the goal. The Dynamo answered in the 75th minute when Romell Quioto sent a similar pass to Alberth Elis, from nearly the same spot on the field, to his Honduran international teammate — who headed it home much like Silva had.
But there was still a game-winner to be found in the match, and it came through a corner kick seven minutes after Houston equalized. Beckerman, who spelled Sunny in the 63rd minute, situated himself in the right place to deliver the tie-breaking goal, and despite last-gasp chances from both sides, it proved to be the final margin.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Houston started the night with 18 points in 5th place in the West, while RSL started with 16 points and in 9th place. RSL, with their win, leapt into 5th; Houston now sits in an uneasy 6th with three teams right behind them. While RSL still has a seriously negative goal differential saddling them, both teams could conceivably figure into final-day playoff position discussions if they haven't already locked up spots by then.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though Beckerman breaking the deadlock is undoubtedly it, Quioto and Elis deserve special mention for the equalizer they engineered, which infused drama and energy to the match at a key juncture.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Silva scored the opening goal and kept Houston's defense unsettled for much of the match — including a one-on-one chance right after Elis's goal which had definite game-winner potential.