SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – For the first time in three games Real Salt Lake was back at home. After a disappointing road trip where they only grabbed one point, they knew they had to be better at home.
And they were, as they picked up the 1-0 win over Austin FC RSL outshot Austin 15 to 10, and RSL kept the advantage with shots on goal 8 to 1.
“It was great to get the result. That’s all that mattered today. We talked about it all week with the coach and the team. All that mattered was getting the result,” said RSL forward Bobby Wood. “Our mentality was getting three points and we did that today. The team’s proud, and we should be proud of ourselves for sure.”
Wood headed home a great cross from Johnathan Menendez in the 32nd minute to give RSL the 1-0 advantage.
Both teams had chances to close out the first half but neither team could find the back of the net.
Early in the second half the going got a little bit easier for RSL, as Justin Meram was cut down just outside of the penalty box by Austin’s Julio Cascante. After a review from VAR, Cascante was shown a red card and RSL went up a man in the 46th minute.
Austin held the majority of the possession throughout the game but being a man down left them vulnerable to counter attacks.
RSL took advantage of these opportunities time and time again, they just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.
Austin FC’s Brad Stuver made seven saves to keep his team in the match.
Real Salt Lake would hang on to secure its 1-0 win, its first win in three matches, which vaults them into sixth place in the Western Conference Playoff standings.
“The most important thing was to get three points and start the second half of the season strong. After games like this we have more belief in ourselves and our guys get to take a little bit of a breath,” said RSL head coach Freddy Juarez. “This got us on the right track at home in front of our fans and the best thing is we know that we can get better.”
Real Salt Lake is back at home at Rio Tinto Stadium August 18th, to take on the Houston Dynamo.