America First Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake has officially made the 2022 MLS playoffs with a resounding win over the Portland Timbers putting and end to their season. The season may have been a nail-biter for RSL fans but tonight’s match was never in question as the Claret and Cobalt dominated the match from beginning to end. It energy that the Real brought to the pitch was on point all night and the substitutions that Pablo Mastroeni brought on were just what was needed to keep up the intensity all night long.
The crowd was ready for action when the opening whistle sounded and the boys did not disappoint. It looked like we were off to an early start in just the 3rd minute but Savarino was caught offside to keep us waiting. The intensity just didn’t let up and with their 5th shot of the first 20 minutes Savarino found the net to put his club on top in the 19th minute. The pressure continued throughout the half with RSL looking solid against any offense that Portland was able to muster taking the 1-0 lead into the locker room at the half. After having 54% of the possession in the half, taking 8 shots and 6 corners it felt like the difference could/should have been greater.
When the clubs returned to the pitch RSL picked up right were they left off and Bryan Oviedo was able to pick up Rubio Rubin streaking toward the goal to double the lead in the just the 48th minute. Coach Mastroeni re-enforced his club in the 58th minute replacing Maikel Chang with Bode Hidalgo. One of the best chances for Portland came in the 69th minute when Yimmi Chara hit the crossbar but the game was put out of reach a short time later when Bode Hidalgo, who put on a great performance, added to the lead and scored his sides final goal late in the 83rd minute. Portland was able to pull one back near the end of the match with a goal from Dairon Asprilla int he 87th minute but it was not enough and Portland saw their post season aspirations disappear.
Real Salt Lake starts their playoff run with a first round match at Austin FC on Monday, October 17th. Bode Hidalgo made his first MLS goal today with an assist from Jasper Loffelsend both players started the match on the bench. RSL continues their streak of sellouts that the newly minted America First Stadium
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
RSL – Jefferson Savarino – 19′
RSL – Rubio Rubin – 48′
RSL – Bode Hidalgo – 83′
POR – Dairon Asprilla – 87′
POR – David Ayala – 27′ – foul
RSL – Rubio Rubin – 67′ – foul
POR – Sebastian Blanco – 88′ – foul
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referee: Corey Parker
Assistant Referee: Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
Video Assistant Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
AVAR: Thomas Supple
Real Salt Lake: Zac MacMath; Justen Glad; Marcelo Silva; Bryan Oviedo; Andrew Brody; Pablo Ruiz; Jefferson Savarino (Justin Meram, 71′); Maikel Chang (Bode Hidalgo, 58′); Braian Ojeda; Sergio Cordova (Anderson Julio, 71′); Rubio Rubin (Jasper Loffelsend, 76′)
Substitutes Not Used: Scott Caldwell; Nick Besler; Diego Luna; Danny Musovski; Tomas Gomez
Portland Timbers: Aljaz Ivacic; Cladio Bravo (Josecarlos Van Rankin, 54′); Zachery McGraw (Jaroslaw Neizgoda, 35′); Bill Tuiloma; Juan Mosquera; Larrys Mabiala; Cristhian Paredes; Yimmi Chara; David Ayala (Marvin Loria, 54′); Dairon Asprilla; Santiago Moreno (Sebastian Blanco, 74′)
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham; Eryk Williamson; Pablo Bonilla; Blake Bodily; Nathan Fagoca