Match Recap: Real Salt Lake 0, FC Dallas 0

Defense posts first shutout to earn valuable road point

Moises RSL

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USA Today Sports Images

SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas both extended streaks on Saturday night, following a 0-0 tie at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Although the draw allowed RSL to tie the MLS record for the longest unbeaten streak to open a season, the Claret-and-Cobalt (6-0-6) dropped two points at home against a Dallas team that played a midweek game and has been headed in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, the scoreless tie extended Dallas' winless streak to seven games — though it represented an improved result from the midweek loss to LA.

After a relatively quiet first half in which neither team could put many chances together, the game opened up after halftime. And both teams left the field looking back on a number of "what if?" moments that could have turned the tie into a win.

In the 55th minute, RSL defender Nat Borchers nearly put in a header, only to see it cleared off the line. In the 66th minute, a Dallas midfielder crossed the ball almost perfectly in to forward Tesho Akindele, who put it wide right.

It was that kind of night for Dallas and RSL.

Real Salt Lake not only didn't win, they suffered a potentially serious loss to their squad. Forward Joao Plata had to come off the field after re-aggravating his left hamstring — the same injury that took him out of a March 22 game against the LA Galaxy and kept him out of the lineup for the next three-plus games.

The injury also leaves RSL perilously short of forwards, with Alvaro Saborio off training with the Costa Rican national team ahead of the World Cup.

For the first time this season, Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley saw action. He underwent knee surgery in December and was in the 18 for the first time on Saturday, getting subbed in in the 66th minute. But he and forward Olmes Garcia — who came in for Plata in the first half — could not produce a goal.

Real Salt Lake (6-0-6) go on the road next Saturday to Seattle — a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference. FC Dallas (5-6-3, 18 points) — which started the season 4-0-1 before a 1-6-2 stretch — head home to take on the San Jose Earthquakes.