By Jamie Ives
Real Salt Lake netted five times on Saturday night against Houston to win 5-2 in an eventful game, in which Javier Morales grabbed a hat-trick.
The Dynamo, who were coming off the back of a clean sheet were below par defensively all night, and this was seen from the first whistle, as Javier Morales chipped Tally Hall with only fifteen seconds on the clock.
The Cantona-esque effort was nothing short of sublime, as Hall could do nothing but admire the skillful attempt.
The lead was doubled in the seventeenth minute, as Morales got on the scoresheet for the second time, tapping in from six yards from a corner which had been headed back into the box.
(Photo: Javier Morales was excellent, and ended the night with a hat-trick)
Rookie, Mark Sherrod, opened his MLS account to bring the Dynamo back into the game after he slotted in from a Brad Davis corner.
However, disaster struck in the twenty-seventh minute as Servando Carrasco was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Morales.
With Houston having to play two thirds of the match with ten men, Salt Lake took the advantage and stretched their lead just five minutes after the dismissal.
Englishman Luke Mulholland delivered a peach of a cross into the near post, and Alvaro Saborio guided his header perfectly across goal and into the bottom corner.
Two minutes after that Houston had a penalty, and another chance to get back into the game, after Aaron Maund brought down David Horst in the box.
Ex-Derby County midfielder Giles Barnes stepped up to take it, but the penalty was very poor and Nick Rimando saved with ease, meaning Salt Lake went in at halftime with a 3-1 lead.
Houston came out looking for a goal to get them back in the match, and Mark Sherrod doubled his tally in the fifty-sixth minute to bring Houston to within a goal.
Sherrod’s powerful finish was the result of hard work by Giles Barnes to secure the ball, and the rookie smashed the ball past the outstretched Rimando.
Salt Lake survived a Dynamo charge and their fourth came in the seventy-eighth minute, when Mulholland rounded Tally Hall and slotted into an empty net from a tight angle, after a intricate pass from Morales opened up the Dynamo defence.
With the game out of reach and dying down, Salt Lake had one more chance to score when Tally Hall pulled down Devon Sandoval to give the visitors a penalty.
Morales stepped up and ended his wonderful night with a hat-trick as he buried the spot-kick past Hall.
Houston need to regroup fast as they face the LA Galaxy on Saturday, while the dangerous Real Salt Lake host the Colorado Rapids.
Highlights via the MLS YouTube channel: