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RSL recovers road point, draws 1-1 in Dallas

It’s a big road point for RSL as they fight for playoff positioning.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake recovered a point on the road against FC Dallas, with the visitors giving up an early goal, affording the match an early sense of dread. But an Anderson Julio substitute’s goal negated that, with the Ecuadorian striker providing heroics, as is his wont.

The first half went about as well as can be expected from RSL on the road, with the team conceding in the 7th minute to an Alan Velasco goal. It was a poor moment defensively from RSL, who struggled to deal with action in their box.

The opening 45 continued with RSL putting more shots forward, including a great chance from Jefferson Savarino that stung the goalkeeper’s gloves and a Pablo Ruiz signature shot from distance that skimmed the crossbar.

The second half saw a series of substitutions before RSL started to threaten, with Rubio Rubin and Anderson Julio coming on for Sergio Cordova and Maikel Chang in the 62nd minute to start the shift in approach for Salt Lake.

At the 67th minute mark, RSL started to threaten more seriously, and Pablo Ruiz marked the momentum shift with a free kick that took a nice save from Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes, who was only able to push the ball onto the crossbar.

The 68th minute saw Diego Luna enter for Justin Meram, who proved vital in giving RSL some possession-focused attacking intent in the late stage of the match. And it wasn’t more than a minute after that when we saw RSL notch a goal, with Anderson Julio finishing a sublime Aaron Herrera cross to the near post. Julio’s headed goal — his second of the year, if memory serves — was perfectly placed, providing evidence yet again that the tallest, biggest player is not always the best attacking header.

Bryan Oviedo and Scott Caldwell entered in the 83rd minute, replacing Jasper Löffelsend and Andrew Brody. Oviedo’s debut didn’t see him overly tested specifically at left back, but he had a few nice moments in his first-ever RSL match.