Recap: Portland Timbers 3, Real Salt Lake 2

The Portland Timbers got a much-needed three points on Saturday night at Providence Park, riding a pair of first-half goals from Dairon Asprilla and Yimmi Chara, plus a second-half insurance tally from Felipe Mora, to a 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach each scored for RSL to give the visitors a fighting chance at taking a result, but Mora's spinning finish just past the hour-mark stood as the decisive finish.

Portland jumped on top with two goals in the opening half-hour, first from a 10th-minute penalty kick that was converted by Asprilla. The spot-kick was awarded following Video Review, as referee Rosendo Mendoza ruled that RSL defender Toni Datkovic committed a handball in his own area. Yimmi Chara then doubled the lead just shy of the 30-minute mark, finishing off a gorgeous sequence with a curling strike off a backheel set-up from Asprilla.

RSL pulled one back before halftime, courtesy of a clinical finish from Rusnak. The Slovakian midfielder beat Timbers' goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic with a low ball that he drove home to the near post, drawing the visitors within 2-1 at intermission.

Portland added a third, however, as Mora got on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute in spectacular fashion. Second-half substitute Sebastian Blanco was the catalyst, sending a ball over the top that found Mora entirely unmarked in front of goal. The Chilean forward took it down with one touch, pulled a nifty spin move, then fired to the far post to restore the two-goal advantage.

Just when it looked like the Timbers could go into cruise control, Kreilach pulled RSL within one goal again. The recently-named MLS All-Star continued his standout season, scorching home his eighth goal of the year in the 80th minute to set up a nervy finish. But RSL could never quite find an equalizer despite some more late pressure that saw Ivacic come up with another highlight-reel denial of Rusnak.


  • 10' - POR - Dairon Asprilla (PK) | WATCH
  • 29' - POR - Yimmi Chara | WATCH
  • 40' - RSL - Albert Rusnak | WATCH
  • 62' - POR - Felipe Mora | WATCH
  • 80' - RSL - Damir Kreilach | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Timbers badly needed some good vibes amid a tough run of form and the trade of popular forward Jeremy Ebobisse. They accomplished that and picked up three valuable points as they look to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. Real Salt Lake continue to look more formidable than many predicted during preseason, but they'll stay in the No. 8 spot in the West with 21 points from 17 matches for the time being, which has them two points shy of the playoff line.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This spin-cycle finish from Mora is both an AT&T Goal of the Week contender and the game-winning tally from this contest.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Aljaz Ivacic made several massive saves for Portland, including one on Rusnak right at the end that may have preserved the three-point result. The Slovenian goalkeeper finished with seven saves.

Next Up

  • POR: Sunday, August 15 vs. Seattle Sounders | 8:30 ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)
  • RSL: Saturday, August 14 vs. Austin FC | 10 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)