Houston Dynamo edge RSL to open first-round series


Dynamo hang on to take Game 1 vs. RSL

Goals from Hector Herrera and Amine Bassi secure Game 1 for the Houston Dynamo in the MLS playoffs.

Amine Bassi found the net with a second-chance goal in the 79th minute to lift the Houston Dynamo to a rousing 2-1 win over visiting Real Salt Lake on Sunday in the first of a best-of-three, opening-round Western Conference series.

Bassi was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of Griffin Dorsey's shot that was batted away by RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath, getting his left foot on the rebound and sending it into the top-left corner for the deciding tally.

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The teams will play the second match in the series on Nov. 6 in Sandy, Utah. A third match would be contested back in Houston on Nov. 11 if necessary. The Dynamo are the fourth seed in the West while Real Salt Lake finished fifth in the conference. Sunday's match was the first-ever postseason meeting between the sides.

MacMath made three saves in defeat, and Diego Luna scored for RSL.

Houston's Hector Herrera made quick work of the match's first real scoring chance in the 22nd minute, allowing a headed pass to the front of the box by Adalberto Carrasquilla to bounce off his chest before steadying it and uncorking a left-footed shot that beat MacMath to the bottom-right corner.

The Dynamo managed the only other shot on goal on the first half when Artur's try was corralled by MacMath in the 41st minute.

RSL pressed for the equalizer early in the second half as Andres Gomez was stopped in the 48th minute at the bottom-left corner by Houston keeper Steve Clark. The Dynamo answered with a chance of their own six minutes later when Nelson Quinones turned around a pass from Artur that was saved by MacMath.

The visitors quickly countered and pulled even in the 54th minute on Luna's goal from the center of the box to the bottom-right corner after a fast-break pass from Anderson Julio.

Houston's Corey Baird hit the post with a shot from the center of the goal in the 63rd minute, and soon after a steady drizzle began. That set the stage for Dorsey and, ultimately, Bassi's late heroics.