FRISCO, Texas – Real Salt Lake strengthened their hold on the Western Conference lead and extended their unbeaten run to eight with a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas in front of 16,560 fans at FC Dallas Stadium, RSL's' first win in Texas in franchise history. The loss marked FCD's first defeat at home in league play since June 28, 2012.
Dallas peppered Josh Saunders’ goal the entire first half, only for RSL to score the opening goal completely against the run of play in the 39th minute.
FCD midfielder Jackson had earned a free kick 21 yards out after being fouled by Ned Grabavoy to set up what looked like a golden opportunity for a team that thrives off set-piece goals. Instead, Jair Benitez’s free kick was blocked, sending RSL on the break. Abdoulie Mansally’s attempted pass was kicked by Zach Loyd, but ricocheted directly to Claret-and-Cobalt captain Javier Morales in stride.
Morales advanced on Loyd one-on-one on the left side of FCD’s 18-yard box, then nutmegged the Dallas defender with a quick shot that seemed to surprise Fernandez as it found the bottom right corner of his goal. The score put FC Dallas behind in a match at home for only the second time this season.
Real Salt Lake put the match away in the 79th minute and once again, Mansally was prominently involved in the play. The left back pushed high up the pitch and sent in a cross that found a wide-open Grabavoy alone in the middle of the box. The RSL midfielder powered a right-footed shot into the right upper corner of the net to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
Substitute Olmes Garcia stretched it to 3-0 in the 90th minute when a defensive breakdown left him alone in the area. With the three goals, Real Salt Lake now has 32 tallies on the season, tied with the Philadelphia Union for tops in MLS.
The best opportunities for FC Dallas came early in the first half when they were dominating play. Fabian Castillo in particular gave RSL’s defenders problems on the wings as he repeatedly made dangerous jaunts into the box.
On one such run, Castillo made a nifty cut inside and had the ball on his favored left foot without a defender in front of him. He looked to have an open take on goal, but his well-struck shot was accidently blocked by teammate Kenny Cooper, who was making a late run into the area.
Next week these two teams, who hold the West's top two standings spots, will face two of the beasts of the East. FCD make their first-ever trip to Stade Saputo to face the Montreal Impact while Real Salt Lake return to the friendly confines of Rio Tinto Stadium to face Sporting Kansas City.