SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – With star midfielder Albert Rusnak back after missing four games to be with the Slovakian National Team, Real Salt Lake peppered the FC Dallas goal with 24 shots.
However, they could not finish any of those attempts, and had to settle for a 0-0 draw Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL put just three of those 24 shots on frame, and FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made all three saves. Andrew Putna made two saves in goal to earn his fourth shutout of the season for Real Salt Lake.
“In the first half there was a stat where we had something like 18 shots and they only had one, some nights it just doesn’t fall your way,” Putna said. “Tonight we were extremely unlucky. Their goalkeeper made a couple of really good saves in the first half and I think we were just really unlucky not to get the result.”
With the draw, RSL (5-7-7) stays below the playoff line in the Western Conference with four games remaining.
“I’m definitely disappointed with the result,” head coach Freddy Juarez said. “We created so many quality chances in the first half. That changed a little bit and we took our foot off the pedal a little bit in the second half. I think we could have been more aggressive in the first 15-20 minutes. They got a little bit more control of the ball. We weren’t as aggressive in trying to win the ball back and then we turned it back around towards the end where it opened up a bit. We deserved more from that game.”
RSL controlled the first half of play from the opening whistle and nearly found the opening goal in the 8th minute but Douglas Martinez’s shot from six yards struck the post, the first of three RSL shots to carom off the goal.
Real Salt Lake continued to pressure and again had a good chance from Corey Baird denied by Maurer in the FC Dallas goal. In the 34th minute, Pablo Ruiz unleashed a shot from 35 yards that beat Maurer, only to careen off the crossbar to send the teams into the halftime break scoreless, despite RSL firing off 18 shots.
FC Dallas applied pressure in the second half, forcing Putna into two saves in the final 45 minutes to preserve the shutout.
“We are disappointed,” added defender Nedum Onuoha. “It’s not necessarily just the result itself, it’s the fact that we had so many chances in the game. We need to be able to capitalize on those. We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get the three points because overall it feels like a game that we dominated and deserved more from.”
RSL returns to action Wednesday night at San Jose for an 8:30 p.m. start.