On paper, the match between Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake seemed like a perfect match in heaven. The two teams had never met before but they had a good knowledge of one another because we are in an age where information can easily be found online or in a video.
RSL came into the match on the back of plenty of positives – seven wins in its last nine games and a Western Conference-leading home record – which is a remarkable feat for any club.
However, there were a few negatives also, including a draw against Minnesota United in its most recent game. Portland’s record going into the match was also very similar.
Portland were the ones that came out on the top at the end of the game, dismantling RSL 4-1 on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“Tonight’s on me,” RSL coach said.
“I got the tactics totally wrong. I thought we had a good game plan going in but we didn’t”.
After a really quiet start to the match, it was the Timbers who made the first attempt when striker Jeremy Ebobisse managed to fire the ball home, receiving a deft pass from Blanco to give Portland a one goal lead in the 33rd minute.
Portland took a 1-o lead into the break. The second half began in a livelier manner than the first, when RSL’s Savarino managed to turn an in-swinging corner into the net with his right foot in the 52nd minute, getting a well-deserved equalizer.
The last 20 minutes spelled doom for RSL as Portland swept three goals past their goalkeeper in that time. Sebastian Blanco regained the lead for Portland, giving them a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.
Blanco then a third soon after in the 73rd minute, marking his brace before substitute Lucas Melano sealed the victory in the 88th minute with a sublime chip over RSL keeper Nick Rimando.
RSL will now switch focus to their next two games against New England at home and Portland on the road.