FRISCO, Texas – One team capitalized on its penalty kick opportunity, and the other did not.
That was essentially the difference in the game between FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium, where Dallas were able to snap a three-game slide and win 2-0.
Tesho Akindele, making his first start since June 7, played his part in helping the home team walk away with three points. In the 51st minute, Akindele received a long pass from midfielder Victor Ulloa in stride and was clipped by RSL left back Demar Phillips in the 18-yard box. The 23-year-old Canadian drilled the ensuing shot right down the middle to beat a diving Nick Rimando and give Dallas a 1-0 lead.
But RSL had an equal opportunity in the 78th minute. Minutes after, FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead left the game bleeding profusely after his head struck the post when he was undercut on a corner kick, Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta fouled forward Juan Manuel Martinez in the penalty area. However, Salt Lake failed to capitalize on the chance, as Javier Morales’ attempt caromed off the right post.
Dallas added insult to injury shortly after the missed spot kick. That's when Fabian Castillo took a pass from Michael Barrios in the Salt Lake half which defender Aaron Maund misplayed. Castillo was able to speed up the field and fire a laser into the back of the net that Rimando had no chance to stop.
Despite taking more than 50 minutes to score, Dallas were determined to break their offensive slump and stormed out of the gates, particularly through Akindele and fellow forward David Texeira. Texeira had two clean looks within the first four minutes of the game, but he skied one over the crossbar and hit the the other one into the hands of RSL 'keeper Rimando.
FC Dallas controlled much of the opening half and outshot Salt Lake 9-3 in that span, but a stout RSL defense denied most of those shots before they reached Rimando. Seven were blocked by an array of Salt Lake players, including a couple of alert intervetions from midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
Still, the shot total was skewed towards the home squad in the end, with Dallas outshooting RSL 21-9 en route to helping 20-year-old goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez record the first shutout of his career.
FC Dallas will travel to Columbus next Sunday (7 pm ET on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes), while Salt Lake have a week off before visiting Houston on Sept. 12 (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).