After scoring an equalizing goal early in the second half, the Portland Timbers were unable to overcome a late game-winning goal, falling 2-1 on the road to Real Salt Lake before 17,452 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first round of the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday night.
2019 Season In Review
Portland concludes the 2019 campaign after qualifying for the postseason for a third consecutive season, and their fifth playoff appearance overall (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). It marked the first time in the club’s all-era history that Portland has qualified for the postseason in three consecutive seasons. For a third straight season, the Timbers recorded 14 or more wins during the regular season and posted the third-best road record (6-8-3) in league play during the club’s MLS era.
Making several key stops in the first half, Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark made a diving stop on Real Salt Lake midfielder Corey Baird’s shot from inside the penalty area in the 10th minute. Seconds later, Clark made a diving tip save over the crossbar from RSL defender Aaron Herrera’s shot from distance. In the 18th minute, Clark reacted quickly to deny Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach’s shot from inside the penalty area.
Real Salt Lake took a 1-0 advantage in the 28th minute after Baird’s cross found Kreilach, beating Clark with a header from close range.
The Timbers leveled the match to begin the second half after Sebastián Blanco’s in-swinging corner-kick service found Dairon Asprilla, whose leaping header was powered past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 48th minute. The goal marked Asprilla’s third consecutive appearance with a goal.
In the 56th minute, Blanco’s corner kick delivery picked out Bill Tuiloma, but his header was fired over the crossbar.
The Timbers nearly scored when Blanco’s shot from distance was knuckling towards the far corner of the net, but Rimando stuck a hand out to tip the ball past the post in the 65th minute. Three minutes later, second-half substitute Diego Valeri dribbled from midfield and struck a curling shot from distance that forced Rimando into a diving save at the near post.
In the 69th minute, Tuiloma picked up the ball from deep in the midfield and dribbled towards goal before firing a low shot from distance that Rimando saved at his near post.
In the 73rd minute, Andy Polo’s cross from the right end line found Cristhian Paredes at the far post. Paredes flicked the ball over to Blanco, whose bicycle-kick attempt from outside the six-yard box was cleared off the line by an RSL defender.
Portland came close to taking the lead in the 85th minute after Asprilla slid the ball to Valeri at the top of the box, but his low shot was pulled just wide of the far post.
Real Salt Lake scored the game-winning goal in the 87th minute after Jefferson Savarino received a pass on the right edge of the box and finished his low shot at the near post.
- The Timbers had 12 shots in the second half, the most ever attempted by the Timbers in an MLS Cup Playoffs game.
- Dairon Asprilla scored the fourth goal of his MLS Cup Playoffs career. Only Diego Valeri has scored more playoff goals (6) for the Timbers in club history (1975-present).
- Dating back to a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 29, Asprilla has scored a goal in three consecutive appearances.
- Sebastián Blanco delivered his first-ever postseason assist. Blanco had 11 assists in the 2019 regular season.
- In his last four matches of 2019 (regular season and playoffs), Blanco had two goals and two assists.
- Jeremy Ebobisse was the only player on the roster to appear in all 39 matches across all competitions for the Timbers in 2019.
- Goalkeeper Steve Clark’s five saves in the match are the second-most by a Timbers goalkeeper in an MLS playoff game.
Postgame Quote Sheet
Quotes with reaction to the match from Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese and select players can be accessed when ready by clicking here.Video Highlights
Highlights of the match can be viewed by clicking here.
Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs | Round One
Portland Timbers (6) vs. Real Salt Lake (3)
Oct. 19, 2019 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
RSL: Kreilach (Baird), 28
POR: Asprilla (Blanco), 47
RSL: Savarino, 87
POR: Blanco (caution), 39
RSL: Savarino (caution), 44
RSL: Beckerman (caution), 57
POR: GK Clark, D Moreira, D Mabiala, D Tuiloma, D Villafaña (Dielna, 90+3), M Chara ©, M Paredes, M Asprilla, M Blanco, M Polo (Loría, 89), F Ebobisse (Valeri, 63)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Valentin, M Zambrano, M Flores
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Blanco, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 5
RSL: GK Rimando, D Herrera, D Silva, D Onuoha, D Toia, M Savarino, M Luiz, M Beckerman ©, M Baird (Plata, 77), F Rusnák (Rowe, 89), F Kreilach (Johnson, 77)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Putna, D Glad, M Rowe, F Lennon, F Saucedo
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Kreilach, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Three players tied, 2); FOULS: 10 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Dave Gantar
Weather: Showers, 40 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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