Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake was able to hold off a strong challenge by the Portland Timbers in the second half of play to advance to the second round of the 2019 MLS Playoffs. The first half was all RSL with Damir Kreilach heading in a goal to put the home club on top. The second half was a different story as Dairon Asprilla pulled the Timbers even. It wasn’t until late in the match when Jefferson Savarino put in the winning goal for RSL to send them to the second round of the playoffs.
Real Salt Lake started the match with a chip on their shoulder as they fought to protect their home turf. With 61% of possession in the half it didn’t take long for one of their shots to find the net. It was in the 29th minute that Corey Baird led Damir Kreilach with an cross that he was able to head past Steve Clark to put RSL on top.
When both clubs returned to the pitch it was the Portland Timbers that seemed to find some new energy as they started off strong with a goal in the 47th minute from Dairon Asprilla and the shots just kept coming. There were several times that they looked to be taking the lead only to have the ball sail wide. It was the Claret and Cobalt that were finally able to break the stalemate when Albert Rusnak found a streaking Jefferson Savarino who shot one past Clark for the win.
With the win Real Salt Lake advances to the second round of the 2019 MLS playoffs where they will travel to Century Link Field to take on the Seattle Sounders.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
RSL – Damir Kreilach – 28′
POR – Dairon Asprilla – 47′
RSL – Jefferson Savarino – 87′
POR – Sebastian Blanco – 39′ – unsporting behavior
RSL – Jefferson Savarino – 44′ – unsporting behavior
RSL – Kyle Beckerman – 57′ – unsporting behavior
Referee: Ismail Elflath
Assistant Referee: Corey Parker
Assistant Referee: Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
Video Assistant Referee: Dave Gantar
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Aaron Herrera; Marcelo Silva; Nedum Onuoha; Donny Toia; Jefferson Savarino; Kyle Beckerman; Everton Luiz; Corey Baird (Joao Plata, 77′); Albert Rusnak (Keyln Rowe, 89′); Damir Kreilach (Sam Johnson, 77′)
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Putna; Brooks Lennon; Justen Glad; Sebastian Saucedo
Portland Timbers: Steve Clark; Jorge Moreira; Larrys Mabiala; Bill Tuiloma; Jorge Villifana (Claude Deielna, 90’+3′); Andy Polo (Marvin Loria, 89′); Diego Chara; Cristhian Paredes; Dairon Asprilla; Sebastian Blanco; Jeremy Ebobisse (Deigo Valeri, 67′)
Substitutes Not Used: Aljaz Ivacic; Zarek Valentin; Andres Flores; Renzo Zambrano