Sandy • Real Salt Lake forward Luis Silva came within inches of claiming the win for RSL.
His line-drive shot in the 74th minute bounced off the inside of the far post, all the way across the goal, off the near post, and out.
Silva recovered the rebound, and his second shot hit the near post and bounced away from the goal.
RSL finished with a 1-1 draw with its Western Conference rival Sporting Kansas City at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
"We have 12 games left. We need 24 points," RSL coach Mike Petke said. "If you go by the last five years' average of the last team that gets into the [playoffs] we need at least 24 points remaining. ... If you slip up some place you make it up on the back end, which means the road.
"So that's what we have to do. I have full confidence in this team. I think we have superb players, and I think that at the end of the day if we do the things that we're capable of, we're going to get in the playoffs."
The teams remain even through 25 matches, with a 9-9-7 all-time record.
RSL forward Luis Silva's first MLS goal in an RSL uniform gave Real Salt Lake a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute. RSL carried that advantage into the half.
Left back Danilo Acosta set up the goal opportunity with a pass to forward Joao Plata on the wing. Plata's cross across the top of the 18 found a wide-open Luis Silva, who drove a shot past a diving Tim Melia.
The ball stretched the back of the net, and Plata danced toward Luis Silva and jumped into his arms.
Silva had scored his first goal for RSL in Monday's friendly against Manchester United. His goal Saturday was the first in two seasons and 29 appearances for the 28-year-old striker.
Acosta, who was credited with the secondary assist, logged his second assist in two matches.
Kansas City tied the match in the 59th minute on a penalty kick. RSL center back Marcelo Silva, who made his MLS debut Saturday, was called for a foul in the box.
Benny Feilhaber took the PK. Just before striking the ball, Feilhaber stutter-stepped, and goalkeeper Nick Rimando dove to his left. Feilhaber went the other way to equalize.
Petke didn't get the chance to see Luis Silva's late ricocheting shot. Referee Nima Saghafi sent him off in the 72nd minute.
Petke said he was upset about a play where his player was put in a headlock, and he brought printouts of the play to his postgame press conference to show reporters.
"I am who I am," Petke said. "I've apologized to my players, I've apologize to my boss again, I'm apologizing to fans. If I do not act the way I do, I can't sleep the next four weeks."
Sporting KC entered the match with a league-best 14 goals conceded. On Saturday, however its back line was thinner than usual with defenders Matt Besler and Graham Zusi out on international duty, representing the United States in the Gold Cup. Ike Opara also sat out with a concussion
RSL was without its captain, Kyle Beckerman, who was suspended for Saturday's match for a red card at Portland Wednesday. RSL appealed the decision, but the independent board upheld the send-off after a review.