HOUSTON (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake earned a hard-fought result in its 2019 season opener.’
Albert Rusnak scored the first goal of the season in the 40th minute, as RSL earned one point on the road with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo.
Rusnak broke the scoreless deadlock when his shot inside the box easily found the inside of the back post for the 1-0 lead which the team took into the halftime break.
Houston saw most of the ball to begin the second half and eventually found the equalizer when Mauro Manotas beat Nedum Onuoha to the ball at the near post, bringing the score to 1-1 in the 62nd minute.
That was the only shot Houston put on frame the entire game.
“Well we have 16 more games on the road so tonight was a good start,” said head coach Mike Petke. “I think we have to get cleaner obviously—it’s the first game. We have to get cleaner when we play out of that block, but I thought for a defensive performance the block was very good. The movement was very good about denying the little gaps that we are playing to in transition for their key players.”
In the 77th minute Houston thought it had found the go-ahead goal, but Boniek Garcia was judged to be in an offside position, letting RSL off the hook.
In the 82nd minute, RSL saw it gain a man advantage when Matías Vera was ejected after his from behind tackle on Joao Plata. RSL pressed for the winner with the man advantage but couldn’t find a second goal as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Real Salt Lake will now open the home portion of the 2019 schedule, hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC on March 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:00 p.m.