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RSL loses 2-0 in Dallas, playoff hopes nearly gone

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Morales and Joao Plata were both left regretting crucial misses against FC Dallas in a 2-0 loss that puts Real Salt Lake's playoff hopes in a near-death spiral.

Morales missed a second-half penalty with the scoreline at 1-0, and Plata missed an ensuing shot after Morales hit the post.

Fabian Castillo put the home side up 2-0 on the breakaway only minutes after the penalty miss, signing, sealing and delivering the three points for Dallas.

Javier Morales had a chance to equalize from the penalty spot after Burrito Martinez was fouled in the area, but his shot hit the right post. That rebounded right to Joao Plata, whose shot was sent way too high with the goalmouth gaping.

Tesho Akindele opened the scoring for FC Dallas, who gained a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick on which Nick Rimando dove the wrong direction. Demar Phillips was whistled for the penalty after apparently catching Akindele with his trailing foot on what initially seemed a clean challenge.

Nick Rimando was tasked with some desperation work inside the first few minutes, making a kick save in the 3rd minute after Fabian Castillo escaped the defensive grasp of three players, and David Texeira took a strong shot from the top of the box.

Other defensive actions kept the game knotted at zeroes, with Aaron Maund and Jamison Olave both narrowly making desperation plays to maintain some sort of defensive coherency. The first 45 minutes essentially consisted of Real Salt Lake being tested without any sense of reprieve.

Luke Mulholland picked up a first-half yellow card after pulling an attacker back in a difficult moment, and as a result, will miss next week's game against Houston Dynamo. Demar Phillips received one only shortly after, and that one was arguably closer to a red than it was to not a card at all.

Ed. Note: Somehow, I wrote that Mulholland got a red card. He clearly did not. My apologies.

Burrito Martinez made his Real Salt Lake debut in the 65th minute for Luke Mulholland, whose first-half yellow card limited his play somewhat.