Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – The home crowd was fired up tonight at the RioT with a moving tribute to Kyle Beckerman but it was not enough to carry the club against a red hot Portland club who left the fans empty handed when the night ended. After getting three first half goals including a brace from Sebastian Blanco and an own goal from Aaron Herrera the lone RSL score came from a penalty kick from Albert Rusnak late in the match and the claret and cobalt just couldn’t find a way to keep the ball long enough to keep up.
When the evening started it felt like the home club had a chip on their shoulders and the that they might find a way to get a result. The entire year is coming down to the last two matches of the season for Real Salt Lake and this is not the best time to match up against Portland and Kansas City. By leaving so many points on the pitch they have to win at least one of these matches to make the playoffs. Portland has a secure spot in the playoffs but a win tonight would secure them a 4th seed in the west and give them home field advantage in at least one match of the playoff and they played like they were in an elimination match. Sebastian Blanco had a great match and started off the scoring for Portland in the 17th minute. Blanco was responsible for all of the Portland scoring with a deflection off of Aaron Herrera in the 38th minute that was recorded as an own goal and then he completed his brace just before the half ended in the 45th minute of play.
Even though RSL had their share of chances it was either Steve Clark in the goal or the woodwork that kept them the clean sheet for Portland that is until the 87th minute after a handball in the box from Claudio Bravo that setup the PK shot from Albert Rusnak to pull one back for RSL.
RSL has one final chance to change thier fortunes and salvage the season. That chance comes next Saturday, November 13th against Sporting Kansas City who currently sit at second place in the West.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Portland Timbers 3 0 3
POR – Sebastian Blanco – 17′
POR – Aaron Herrera – 38′ – own goal
POR – Sebastian Blanco – 45′
RSL – Albert Rusnak – 88′ – PK
RSL – Pablo Ruiz – 36′ – unsporting behavior
POR – Bill Tuiloma – 82′ – unsporting behavior
POR – Claudio Bravo – 87′ – handball
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referee: Bjovalin Bori
Assistant Referee: Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Victor Rivas
Video Assistant Referee: Fotis Bazakos
AVR: TJ Zablocki
Real Salt Lake: David Ochoa; Justin Glad; Erik Holt; Aaron Herrera; Maikel Chang (Jonathan Menendez, 74′); Pablo Ruiz; Everton Ruiz (Anderson Julio, 85′); Andrew Brody (Justin Meram, 46′); Albert Rusnak; Damir Kreilach; Rubio Rubin (Bobby Wood, 61′)
Substitutes Not Used: Ashtone Morgan; Donny Toia; Nick Besler; Zac MacMath; Marcelo Silva
Portland Timbers: Steve Clark; Josecarlos Van Rankin; Claudio Bravo; Dario Zuparic; Bill Tuiloma; Sebastian Blanco (Santiago Moreno, 75′); Diego Chara; Cristhian Paredes (George Fochive, 75′); Yimmi Chara (Marin Loria, 88′); Dairon Asprilla; Jaroslaw Neivgoda (Felipe Mora, 61′)
Substitutes Not Used: Diego Valeri; Pablo Bonilla; Aljaz Ivacic; Larrys Mabiala; Zachery McGraw