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SANDY — If chances were points, Real Salt Lake would've had plenty of them Saturday night against the Houston Dynamo.
But only goals count on the scoreboard.
The Dynamo (9-7-7) defense held firm for a 0-0 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium, forcing RSL to split the points for the third-consecutive match.
“I thought it was a bit ugly and boring, the way they killed the game and sat back like that," RSL coach Mike Petke said. "But they did what they needed to get a point, so hat’s off to them.”
After a scoreless first half, things got a little chippy as both sides looked for a goal. RSL defender Justen Glad went into the books with a yellow card in the 60th minute after breaking up a Houston counterattack, and Houston’s Alex was shown consecutive cards and ejected just five minutes later for unsporting behavior.
“It’s tough. We’ve just got to figure out a way to play against teams like that," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. "Last week, we had a team sit back. This week, Houston sat back quite a bit. But we still had chances.
“Obviously we got the shutout, so that’s good.”
Houston entered Saturday’s match with three-straight victories against Real Salt Lake, including a 5-1 rout May 31 in Texas.
Now Real Salt Lake, which sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, has some catching up to do if it wants to make a playoff run.
“We’ve got 10 games left, and I’m not pushing the panic button," Petke said. "I’m going to compete, just like these guys are going to compete until the last game of the season.”
By the numbers:
Real Salt Lake put up 21 shots, but was held without a shot on target.
Meanwhile, of the defensive-minded Dynamo's nine shots, just one of them was on frame, according to Opta stats.
Real Salt Lake travels to RFK Stadium to face D.C. United Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. MDT for the first a two-game Eastern Conference road trip.