Corey Baird and Daniel Steres each scored a first-half goal to lead the Houston Dynamo to a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday night.
Adalberto Carrasquilla added a third goal late in the second half.
Houston (10-10-5, 35 points) notched a third consecutive shutout in league play. Steve Clark earned his 10th clean sheet of the season. The Dynamo have tallied eight goals in their last two matches.
Salt Lake (10-8-7, 37 points) saw a nine-match unbeaten run (6-0-3) in MLS regular-season matches come to an end. RSL had totaled nine goals over their previous three matches and had averaged 2.4 goals in their last seven matches before Saturday.
The hosts hadn’t lost since May 31, when they fell 3-2 to the LA Galaxy.
Houston struck first thanks to Baird’s goal in the ninth minute. Brad Smith crossed the ball into the center of the box. Baird tapped it forward just outside the 6-yard box and threaded a right-footed shot past the right post.
The Dynamo claimed a two-goal lead in the 29th minute courtesy of a highlight-reel goal from Steres. Hector Herrera played a through ball to Steres in the center of the box. He drew RSL goalkeeper Gavin Beavers off his line and sent a backwards header past him for an easy strike.
Salt Lake had a 6-5 edge in total shots during the first half, but the Utah club put only one ball on frame before halftime.
A lightning strike near America First Field in the 60th minute caused a 40-minute weather delay before play resumed.
Carrasquilla added an insurance goal in the 75th minute. Aliyu Ibrahim fed a pass to him off a give-and-go and Carrasquilla blasted the ball home inside the right post.
Houston also tallied three goals against Salt Lake on Wednesday night in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory.
—Field Level Media
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