Houston Dynamo beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 in Game 1 of playoff series

RSL’s Diego Luna ties game 1-1 in 54th minute before Dynamo score in 79th.

Houston Dynamo forward Corey Baird (11) kicks the ball away from Real Salt Lake midfielder Emeka Eneli, center, during the first half of an MLS playoff soccer match, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

Houston • Amine Bassi scored the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, Héctor Herrera also scored a goal, and the Houston Dynamo beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 Saturday night in Game 1 of the best-of-three first-round MLS Cup Playoffs series.

Houston can clinch a berth in the conference semifinals with a win in Game 2 on Nov. 6 in Sandy.

After an RSL giveaway in its defensive territory, Griffin Dorsey’s back-post shot was swatted away by goalkeeper Zac MacMath but Bassi blasted the put-back from the center of the penalty area into a wide-open net to give the Dynamo a 2-1 lead.

Herrera gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute, when he chest-trapped a pass from Adalberto Carrasquilla and then slipped a low left-footer into the net to make it 1-0.

Diego Luna scored for Real Salt Lake in the 54th minute to make it 1-1, his first MLS Cup Playoffs goal. On the counter-attack, Anderson Julio played an arcing cross to Luna at the top of the area where the 20-year-old midfielder blasted a low shot inside the right post.