Sandy, UT (Saturday, September 16, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (11-14-5, 38 points) moved into playoff position with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. MF Albert Rusnák had a goal and an assist and FW Jefferson Savarino added a goal of his own to power RSL past the Timbers for the second time this season after a 4-1 win in Portland on July 19.
RSL opened scoring in the 14th minute when Rusnák fired a scorcher from 26 yards out that flummoxed Jeff Attinella and found the net for his seventh goal of the season. It was mostly one-way traffic through the first 30 minutes, as RSL outshot Portland 12-6 in the half. However, the Claret-and-Cobalt wasn’t able to add to the early lead.
Portland evened the tally in the 47th minute when Diego Valeri scored for the eighth consecutive match, heading in a cross from Dairon Asprilla for his 18th goal of the season. It didn’t stay level for long though, as Savarino scored his fifth goal of the season in the 61st minute to reclaim the lead at 2-1. RSL saw out the result to move to 6-2-3 since July 4 and moving ahead of FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo into sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will remain in Utah to play host to defending MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC (7:30 p.m. MT kickoff) at Rio Tinto Stadium on September 23. The last time RSL and the Sounders met the Rave Green walked away with a 1-0 win over the Claret-and-Cobalt on May 20.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL – Albert Rusnák (Luis Silva), 14th minute: Off of a Portland turnover in midfield, Luis Silva touched the ball to Rusnák, who broke into the attack. With time and space, he fired a shot from 26 yards out that stunned Portland keeper Jeff Attinella and deflected into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
POR – Diego Valeri (Dairon Asprilla) 47th minute: A cross whipped in by Portland midfielder Dairon Asprilla found the run of Valeri who found space at the back-post as he nodded home the equalizer into the net.
RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák) 61st minute: RSL worked the ball across the top of the box before Savarino found himself in a 1v1 on the right side. He beat his defender, then lifted a shot inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS:
POR – Jeff Attinella, 30th minute: Joao Plata played Luis Silva into the box up the left side and he hit a right-footed shot on frame, but Attinella made the stop to keep him off the board.
RSL – Nick Rimando, 39th minute: A well-timed cutback and pass across the box found the run of Portland midfielder Diego Valeri who’s first time shot looked destined for the back of the RSL net. Rimando did well to read the shot and get two strong hands to parry away what looked a sure goal.
POR – Jeff Attinella, 72nd minute: RSL forward Joao Plata was played in behind the Portland defense by Yura Movsisyan. He got 1v1 with Attinella, who sprung off his line and blocked the would-be shot.
- FW Luis Silva was subbed out of the match in the 58th minute with a right groin injury. He had scored in four consecutive starts entering Saturday’s match.
- DF Marcelo Silva returned to the starting lineup after missing the last three matches due to injury. RSL is now 2-0-3 when he plays the full 90 minutes.
- MF Albert Rusnák now has two goals and five assists in his last five matches. Saturday marked the fifth time this season that he had notched a goal and an assist in the same match.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers
Date: September 16, 2017
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and 60
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
RSL – Albert Rusnák (Luis Silva) 14’
POR – Diego Valeri (Dairon Asprilla) 47’
RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnák) 61’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Jefferson Savarino (David Horst 89’), Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata (Brooks Lennon 75’); Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan 58’)
Subs not used: Matt VanOekel, David Horst, Sunday Stephen, Sebastian Saucedo, Chris Wingert
Portland Timbers: (4-2-3-1): Jeff Attinella, Zarek Velentin, Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell (Vytas 76’), Roy Miller; David Guzman (Lawrence Olum 80’), Darlington Nagbe; Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Dairon Asprilla; Darren Mattocks (Jeremy Ebobisse 75’)
Subs not used: Jake Gleeson, Victor Arboleda, Jack Barmby, Ben Zemanski
Stats Summary: RSL/POR
Shots: 19 / 13
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 13 / 9
Offside: 4 / 4
RSL: Kyle Beckerman (Caution) 68’
POR: Darlington Nagbe (Caution) 70’
RSL: Yura Movsisyan (Caution) 87’
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Ricardo Salazar
VAR: Dave Gantar