Real Salt Lake forces a match 3 in series against Houston

.   Written by B. Keith Crear III | Photo credit: Oscar Herrera, SFL Staff Photographer

Real Salt Lake (RSL) forced a decisive Match 3 in the Round One Best-of-3 series of the Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Houston Dynamo FC following a 1-1 draw in regulation time. The match was played on Monday at America First Field in Sandy, Utah.

RSL trailed 1-0 at halftime after a goal from Houston's Amine Bassi. But RSL equalized in the 70th minute with a stunning free kick from Jefferson Savarino. The match went to a penalty shootout after extra time, and RSL converted all five of their spot-kicks to win the match.

RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni praised his team's physicality and work ethic, saying that those were the two keys to the victory. He also said that his team showed great spirit and commitment, and that they executed their game plan perfectly.

RSL's young attacker Diego Luna was the hero of the match, scoring the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout. Luna said that he had been planning to take the fifth penalty kick, and that he had already visualized it in his head.

Match 3 of the series will be played on November 11 at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, Texas.

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