“Beat Sea-attle, Beat Sea-attle.”
Real Salt Lake left the field Saturday to these chants, but not from their fans. It was Portland Timbers fans cheering for their rival’s defeat.
Salt Lake’s fans, for their part, were stunned by a match their team dominated but failed to win after a stunning 90th minute equalizer against the run of play.
With a disappointing draw on the books, Salt Lake’s playoff opponent was not yet decided, but that didn’t stop Portland’s fans.
Just a few minutes later, word reached Salt Lake’s locker room that Dallas was losing 4-0 and a sigh of relief came over the side.
When the Dallas match went final an hour later, Real Salt Lake officially became the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and was paired with Seattle for a home-and-home series that will take place over the next 11 days.
While the match contained many positives for Salt Lake, it also contained a disappointing goal that made the team wait an extra hour to celebrate the third seed.
Salt Lake started well, despite a few early giveaways. By the 8th minute, the side was in control and got the first good chance of the match. Alvaro Saborio’s shot from just outside the box was a few feet wide, but the threat a good sign.
Saborio had another great chance in the 12th minute when Morales’ service to the far post was just a little higher than he anticipated. The Costa Rican international was so close that he landed in the net.
Salt Lake’s dominance paid off in the 45th minute when Saborio took a pass from Espindola as he got behind the defense and chipped the bouncing ball over Troy Perkins. The goal gave Salt Lake momentum and the lead going into halftime.
The second half started with Portland getting more chances. The best early one came in the 56th minute when a shot was fired right into Chris Wingert’s arm. The referee ruled it a hand ball in the box, but Kenny Cooper put the resulting penalty kick off of the crossbar.
Things got chippy toward the end of the match, with hard fouls (often off the ball) becoming prevalent.
Portland managed a stunning equalizer in the 90th minute when Futty Danso put a loose ball in the box into the net.
The match ended a 1-1 draw with Salt Lake waiting on Dallas’ result to see who the side would play.
Man of the Match
Alvaro Saborio was a beast on the field, giving his team a goal and numerous opportunities to score.
Salt Lake started the first team lineup, minus the suspended Kyle Beckerman:
- FORWARD: Saborio, Espindola
- MIDFIELD: Williams, Y. Alvarez, Morales, Johnson (84′ A. Alvarez for Williams)
- DEFENSE: Russell, Olave, Borchers, Wingert
- KEEPER: Rimando
Category: Game Review