Sebastian Blanco scored twice in three minutes in the second half, and the Portland Timbers came up with a critical road victory at Real Salt Lake, 4-1 on Saturday night.

Blanco added an assist for a Timbers side without forward Samuel Armenteros due to illness. Jeremy Ebobisse also scored for Portland, increasing their playoff chances with the three points from the win. The Timbers moved to 51 points and grabbed solid control of fourth place in the West, four points clear of the fifth place Seattle Sounders.

The loss put more pressure on RSL to stay in the sixth and final playoff spot, as they remained at 46 points, just one ahead of the LA Galaxy.

Ebobisse's second goal of the season came off a quality cross from Blanco into the box. Real Salt Lake drew even at one in the 55th minute on Jefferson Savarino's goal off a good run.

Blanco turned the match into his own highlight reel in the second half, and Lucas Melano took advantage of a poor throw-in for his team's fourth goal.

A high elbow from Timbers midfielder Diego Chara in the 26th minute drew a yellow card, and Chara will be suspended on card accumulation for Portland's rematch with RSL in Oregon in two weeks.


  • 33' – POR – Jeremy Ebobisse | WATCH
  • 55 – RSL – Jefferson Savarino | WATCH
  • 70' – POR – Sebastian Blanco | WATCH
  • 73' – POR – Sebastian Blanco | WATCH
  • 88' – POR – Lucas Melano | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Portland entered the night with just one win in their last four games, and not a single road victory since June 30. But when they needed three points the most, Blanco, Ebobisse, a defense that held up well and solid goalkeeping got the job done. Now Portland is two points away from assuring themselves of the postseason, with two games left to play. For RSL, they still control their own destiny, but this loss opens the door for the Galaxy or even the Vancouver Whitecaps to grab the final playoff spot.

  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Blanco's first goal, to break a 1-1 tie, gave the Timbers breathing room and momentum after they'd surrendered the goal.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: The Timbers got several fine performances and continue to show their depth on offense and defense with contributions from players who aren't often starters. But Blanco was sensational with his strikes in rapid succession, and celebrated in style.

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