HOUSTON (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake and Houston both had chances but RSL’s Zac Macmath came up clutch late to help Real Salt Lake secure a point on the road with a 0-0 draw.
Zac MacMath made four saves for the fourth shutout of the year for RSL, who moved to 2-2-2 on the road this season.
In the first half, RSL put four shots on goal to Houston’s two, their best chance coming in the 11th minute when Maikel Chang’s left footed shot was pushed to the post by Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric, and Damir Kreilach’s rebound header was saved too.
“We wanted to get the ball into the attacking half and from there if we could go forward, we needed to go forward. If the opportunity wasn’t there because of numbers or congestion, we wanted to switch the point of attack in their half and I think we did well,” said Real Salt Lake head coach Freddy Juarez. “When the guys found it in the second half we got more control of the game. Because of that we created two or three clear opportunities.”
In the second half RSL had another great chance to go up 1-0 when Justin Meram played Albert Rusnak in on goal, with his shot blasting off the post.
In the second half, RSL held off a late surge from Houston after defender Justen Glad was sent off with a second yellow card in the 87th minute.
“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t stressful, but the guys did a great job adjusting to being down a man. We took the sting out of the game a little bit with that foul,” said Macmath. “We reorganized and talked about which formation we were going to play to make sure that Rubio was a bit deeper to help us defensively get to the final whistle and he did a great job.”
Former Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird made his debut for Houston after being traded by LAFC on July 30th. He almost scored the winner against his old team in stoppage time. Off a corner kick his volley was pushed over the bar by Macmath.
Real Salt Lake is back in action August 4th on the road at LA Galaxy.