SANDY, Utah (Sunday, October 9, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (12-11-11, 47 points) punched its ticket to the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Portland Timbers in what was a must win match on MLS Decision Day. The win clinched Real Salt Lake the seventh and final playoff position, setting up a Quarterfinal matchup against Austin FC.
Postgame Quotes from RSL vs. POR
Postgame Video from RSL vs. POR
With the stadium rocking and full of energy, Real Salt Lake looked to take the early lead in the win-and-in match, with Andrew Brody blasting a shot past Portland’s goalkeeper in the fifth minute, but the goal was waived off due to an offside call. The Claret-and-Cobalt maintained momentum, pestering Portland’s defensive line repeatedly, but the Timbers were able to thwart the home side’s advances. That is until the 19th minute when Bryan Oviedo found Jefferson Savarino at the top of the 18-yard-box. The Designated Player curled a bending shot into the bottom right corner to take the 1-0 lead.
As the first half progressed RSL continued to see chances, including a header from Rubio Rubin in the 28th minute that bounced inches wide of the left post. Despite having the better opportunities the team was unable to double its lead in the first half, carrying the 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
After being denied a chance at goal in the first half, Rubin found the back of the net just three minutes into the second half. The forward ran onto a cross from Oviedo, one-touching the ball past Portland ‘keeper Aljaz Ivacic to take the 2-0 lead and net his first goal of the season. In the 64th minute Rubin nearly had a second when he broke off towards goal, but his shot hit the side wall, just shy of the right post.
Portland was inches away from pulling one back when Yimmi Chara fired off a close-range shot, but his chance bounced off the post and RSL Homegrown defender Bode Hidalgo was able to clear it out of the danger area. It was the Homegrown Hidalgo who solidified the victory in the 82nd minute, stepping up and scoring his first goal in Major League Soccer on the biggest of stages when he finished the give-and-go with Jasper Löffelsend, rocketing a shot off his right foot and soaring past the goalkeeper for the 3-0 lead.
The Timbers netted a consolation from Dairon Asprilla in the 87th minute, but it was not enough to overcome the dominant offensive showing from Real Salt Lake, with the home side clinching the seventh and final position in the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will face Austin FC in the Quarterfinals of the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 p.m. MT at Q2 Stadium, the match will be broadcast live on ABC.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Bryan Oviedo) 19th minute: Receiving the ball from Oviedo, Savarino slalomed around his defender before curling a right-footed shot towards the far post, tucking the ball into the bottom right corner for the lead.
RSL: Rubio Rubin (Bryan Oviedo, Jefferson Savarino) 48th minute: Just outside the 18-yard-box, Oviedo found Savarino on the run, who quickly fed it back to the Costa Rican defender who quickly crossword it forward where Rubin once-touched the ball into the back of the net.
RSL: Bode Hidalgo (Jasper Löffelsend) 82nd minute: Hidalgo sent a short pass to Löffelsend who drove towards goal before cutting back to send it back to the Homegrown defender. Hidalgo took a one-touch right-footed shot, sending the ball up the middle of goal and past the ‘keeper.
POR: Dairon Asprilla (Larrys Mabiala) 87th minute: Mabiala found Asprilla who took a left-footed shot up the middle of the goal.
- Bobby Wood (abductor), Aaron Herrera (calf) and Damir Kreilach (back) were unavailable due to injury.
- On a record-breaking afternoon at America First Field, Real Salt Lake recorded its 17th consecutive sellout, making 2022 the first time the Club has ever sold out every game in a single season. The 21,333 fans marked the third-highest attended match in Sandy, Utah.
- Goalkeeper Zac MacMath became the Club’s first ever true “Iron Man,” playing in every minute (3,060) of the 2022 regular season. RSL Homegrown defender Andrew Brody is the only other player this season to appear in all 34 matches, starting in 33 of them.
- By clinching a spot in the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, Real Salt Lake has now appeared in the postseason in 12 of the last 15 seasons, as well as four of the last five.
- RSL Homegrown defender Bode Hidalgo’s second-half goal is the first scored by a Utah-born Homegrown.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers
Date: October 9, 2022
Venue: America First Field; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
RSL: Jefferson Savarino (Bryan Oviedo) 19’
RSL: Rubio Rubin (Bryan Oviedo, Jefferson Savarino) 48’
RSL: Bode Hidalgo (Jasper Löffelsend) 82’
POR: Dairon Asprilla (Larrys Mabiala) 87’
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Bryan Oviedo; Maikel Chang (Bode Hidalgo 58’), Pablo Ruiz, Braian Ojeda, Jefferson Savarino (Justin Meram 71’); Sergio Cordova (Anderson Julio 71’), Rubio Rubin (Jasper Löffelsend 76’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Nick Besler, Danny Musovski, Diego Luna, Scott Caldwell
Portland Timbers (3-5-2): Aljaz Ivacic; Zac McGraw (Jaroslaw Niezgoda 35’), Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma; Claudio Bravo (Josecarlos Van Rankin 54’), Cristhian Paredes, David Ayala (Marvin Loria 54’), Juan Mosquera, Santiago Moreno (Sebastian Blanco 74’); Yimmi Chara, Dairon Asprilla
Subs not used: David Bingham, Eryk Williamson, Pablo Bonilla, Blake Bodily, Nathan Fogaca
Stats Summary: RSL / POR
Shots: 17 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 7
POR: David Ayala (caution) 27’
RSL: Rubio Rubin (caution) 67’
POR: Sebastian Blanco (caution) 88’
Referee: Armando Villareal
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic