FRISCO, Texas – Brek Shea drilled a penalty kick to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead just before halftime, but Real Salt Lake’s Emilano Bonfigli answered back in 72nd minute as the clash between the two Western Conference rivals ended in a 1-1 tie Wednesday night at FC Dallas Stadium.
Shea’s goal came after Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran was called for a handball in the box. The ball appeared to graze Beltran’s elbow, and the call left the visitors perplexed.
Real Salt Lake, who were without star striker Fabian Espindola, failed to get anything going offensively in the first half as they failed to manage a single shot on goal in the opening period after the 5th minute.
Their best chance at scoring came in the 2nd minute when Paulo Junior created an opportunity for Alvaro Saborio, but the shot was saved by FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who made his second start of the season in place of the injured Kevin Hartman.
However, the second half was a different story. Bonfigli came on as a substitute in the 69th minute and just three minutes later scored the equalizer, giving him his first career MLS goal.
Without suspended striker Blas Perez, FC Dallas came out in a 4-4-2 formation and relied heavily on Fabian Castillo and Scott Sealy.
Castillo pressured the Real Salt Lake back line throughout the first half and had a chance to give FC Dallas an early lead in the 19th minute but goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a nice save for Real Salt Lake.
Just two minutes later Castillo had a golden opportunity from the center of the box, but Sealy was at the wrong place at the wrong time and blocked the shot.
In the latter portion of the game, Real Salt Lake was able to limit FC Dallas even without 2010 MLS Defender of the Year Jamison Olave, who was suspended after being ejected in Saturday’s 3-1 loss at San Jose.
FC Dallas midfielders Ricardo Villar and Andrew Jacobson are still recovering from injuries and did not play. FC Dallas lost another midfielder in Carlos Rodriguez, who was stretchered off after injuring his arm in the second half, allowing Jackson to make his first appearance of the season.
Jackson was recalled from his loan to Brazilian first division side Cruzeiro to add more depth to an injury plagued FC Dallas team.
FC Dallas moves to 3-3-2 on the year. They are in Los Angeles on Saturday to take on the Galaxy.