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Maikel Chang’s Brace Caps Off Open Cup Thriller

Real Salt Lake 4 vs 3 Portland Timbers
May 10, 2023; Providence Park; Portland, Oregon Real Salt Lake (3-5-2, 11 points); Portland Timbers (3-5-3, 12 points)

Man of the Match: **Maikel Chang** scored the game-tying and game-winning goals within a span of four minutes, clinching the Claret-and-Cobalt’s spot in the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. After letting go of a 2-1 halftime lead in the first seven minutes of the second half, RSL charged back in the 55th minute when **Andrés Gómez** played a ball back to Chang on the far side of the box, who one-timed it past the keeper to tie the game 3-3. In the 59th, **Danny Musovski** played a similar ball to a charging Chang, finishing with precision and ultimately scoring the game winner.

Telling Stats: Chang’s brace made him the first RSL player this year to score twice in one game across all competitions. Eighteen-year-old **Gavin Beavers**, in just his third appearance for the first team, recorded four impressive saves in his second-consecutive win in U.S. Open Cup play. The win also marks the second-consecutive match in the tournament in which RSL has scored three or more goals, with tonight’s four goals being the largest amount in any game this year in all competitions. The last time RSL scored four goals in any match was September 15, 2021 in a win against San Jose during the MLS regular season.

What You Missed: The Timbers wasted little time to find the game-opening goal, as Sebastian Blanco pounced on a miscue off the backline to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute. After settling into the match over the next 25 minutes, RSL responded with a goal of their own courtesy of Danny Musovski in the 30th minute, who buried a shot from around the penalty mark. Nearly 10 minutes later in a moment of individual brilliance, Andrés Gómez took one touch around his defender and struck a perfect shot from distance over the keeper and just under the crossbar to give RSL the 2-1 lead going into the break. In similar fashion to the first half, Portland took just four minutes to find the back of the net as Justin Rasmussen slotted the ball home from just outside the 18-yard-box to even the scoreline at two goals a piece. In the 52nd, the hosts capitalized once again on the second-half momentum shift as Jaroslaw Niezgoda knocked in a chested-down pass to retake control of the game at 3-2. RSL had yet another response just three minutes later when Gómez found Maikel Chang trailing inside the box who tied the game. Lightning never strikes twice, but Chang did, scoring just four minutes later on a set-up pass from Musovski in the 59th to retake the lead for RSL 4-3. After a chaotic first hour of soccer, the next 30 minutes were relatively quiet, and RSL defended its one-goal lead until the final whistle, capping off a rollercoaster win to progress to the round of 16.

What’s Next?: RSL returns to Major League Soccer play this Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. MT as Los Angeles FC comes to America First Field. In a bit of deja vu the Claret-and-Cobalt will once again face the Timbers, this time at home on Wednesday, May 17 in the first of two league matchups this season, with kickoff set for 7:30 pm M.T.