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MLS Game Summary - Real Salt Lake at Dallas



(Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Dallas 2, Real Salt Lake 1

Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - Substitute Eric Avila handed FC Dallas a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals with a goal in the 88th minute.

Fabian Espindola handed RSL a 1-0 lead five minutes into the match, but Dallas equalized shortly before halftime through Jeff Cunningham, who entered the match as a substitute for the injured Milton Rodriguez.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute when Javier Morales received his second yellow card, although the Hoops also finished the match with 10 men as Atiba Harris was hit with a straight red card six minutes later.

Avila entered the match in the 86th minute, and two minutes later he fired home the winning goal, giving Dallas a lead ahead of the return leg in Salt Lake next Saturday and handing the defending MLS Cup champions their first defeat since July 17, which also came at Dallas.

RSL got off to a perfect start with Espindola opening the scoring five minutes into the game.

He collected a ball from Andy Williams and dashed into the penalty area on the right. Espindola then cut back past a defender and curled a shot inside the left post.

Dax McCarty had a close-range effort saved by Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, but after entering the game in the 32nd minute, Cunningham equalized right before halftime when he battled through a pair of Salt Lake defenders before beating Rimando at the near post.

David Ferreira smashed a shot off the post from 25 yards for Dallas, while Marvin Chavez forced Rimando to make a good diving save on a ball headed for the upper-left corner of the net.

Morales was handed a second yellow card for a high kick on McCarty, meaning he will miss the second leg next week, while Harris evened up the numbers in the 75th minute with an elbow on Will Johnson that earned him a straight red card.

Avila replaced Jair Benitez in the final minutes, and he made the most of his chance by picking up the ball 35 yards from goal and sending a rocket past Rimando and just inside the left post.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made it interesting in stoppage time when he parried a shot into the path of Ned Grabavoy, but the RSL midfielder missed the net from six yards.

10/30 19:26:04 ET