Timbers Earn 2-1 Win on the Road against Real Salt Lake
SANDY, Utah - The Portland Timbers earned their third straight win, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-1 on the road at Rio Tinto Stadium in front of 18,066 fans on Saturday night. Sebastián Blanco tallied the opening goal for Portland - his second of the season - while Diego Valeri scored his 70th career goal in MLS to give the Timbers their third straight win on the road.
Against Real Salt Lake
Portland (3-5-1, 10pts) is 5-1-1 in its last seven matches at Rio Tinto Stadium. Those five wins are the most at any away venue for the Timbers since the club joined MLS in 2011. Saturday's win was Portland's third consecutive win against Real Salt Lake (3-6-1, 10pts), dating back to the 2018 season, with the Timbers outscoring RSL 9-2 during that span. Additionally, Portland has scored 18 goals in MLS regular-season matches at Rio Tinto Stadium, which is the most goals the Timbers have scored at any away venue.
Blanco in form
With his goal in the 34th minute, Blanco has now scored a goal or recorded an assist in four straight matches. The goal was the 20th of his career with Portland. He is the sixth player in Timbers history to tally 20 or more goals and 20 or more assists. Additionally, Blanco recorded his fourth goal in five career games against Real Salt Lake and his fourth goal in his last three matches against RSL. Notably, it was his third goal in his last two trips to Rio Tinto Stadium, after he scored a brace in a 4-1 road win against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6, 2018.
Valeri notched the game-winning goal for Portland, tallying the 70th goal of his MLS career. With the goal, Valeri became the ninth player in MLS history to record 70 goals and 70 assists. He is the first player who debuted in MLS after the 2001 season to reach this mark.
Real Salt Lake was awarded a penalty kick in the 25th minute after video review determined there was a handball in the box by Portland. Albert Rusnák stepped to the spot and sent a shot toward the bottom left corner of the goal, but Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark dove to his right to make the save.
Andrés Flores nearly gave Portland the lead in the 28th minute. Settling a loose ball at the edge of the box, Flores fired a dipping strike that skipped through the box and just wide of the left post.
The Timbers secured a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. Blanco's initial shot from the edge of the box was saved by RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna, but Putna was unable to control the attempt, parrying the ball back to Blanco, who pounced and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
Clark kept RSL off the scoresheet in the 53rd minute, diving to his left to push a curling long-range strike by Jefferson Savarino just wide of the right post.
Real Salt Lake leveled the match at 1-1 in the 62nd minute. Receiving a short pass from Corey Baird just outside the box, Sam Johnson directed a shot off the left post and into the goal.
Portland reclaimed the lead at 2-1 in the 68th minute as Valeri scored his second goal of the season. Valeri picked out Blanco in the center of the box and Blanco fired a shot that was blocked by a Real Salt Lake's Justen Glad. Valeri settled the deflected shot and hit a low, hard shot through traffic inside the left post.
In the 73rd minute, Sebastián Saucedo fired a shot from the edge of the box near the left side that was heading toward the right corner of the goal, but Clark made another stop, diving to the left to get hand to the shot and direct it wide of the target.
Portland is 5-1-1 in its last seven matches at Rio Tinto Stadium. Those five wins are the most at any away venue for the Timbers since the club joined MLS in 2011.
The Timbers have scored 18 goals in MLS regular-season matches at Rio Tinto Stadium, which is the most goals Portland has scored in any away venue.
The Timbers have won three consecutive road matches for the third time in MLS play and the first time since the 2015 season.
With two goals, Portland has scored multiple goals in three consecutive road matches for the fifth time in MLS play.
Diego Valeri is the ninth player in MLS history to score 70 or more goals and have 70 or more assists.
Sebastián Blanco scored his second goal of the season and the 20th of his Timbers career.
Blanco is the sixth player in Timbers history, across all eras, to have 20 or more goals and 20 or more assists for the club. He joins Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, Dale Mitchell, John Bain and Clyde Best.
Blanco has scored or tallied assist in four straight matches for the second time in his career with Portland.
Steve Clark is the third Timbers goalkeeper to save a penalty kick in the club's MLS era, joining Jeff Attinella and Andrew Weber.
Clark now has five penalty saves in his MLS career. Since his league debut in 2014, Clark is one of six goalkeepers to have five or more penalty-kick saves.
The Timbers travel for a road match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday, May 10, at BC Place. Beginning at 7 p.m. (Pacific), the match will feature a local television broadcast on FOX 12 PLUS (KPDX) with local radio broadcasts on 1029 and 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Postgame quote sheet
Quotes with reaction to the match from coaches and players from both clubs can be accessed when ready.
Highlights of the match can be viewed.
Portland Timbers (3-5-1, 10pts) vs. Real Salt Lake (3-6-1, 10pts)
May 4, 2019 - Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
POR: Blanco, 34
RSL: Johnson (Baird, Besler), 62
POR: Valeri, 68
POR: Moreira (caution), 45+3
RSL: Toia (caution), 48
RSL: Besler (caution), 77
RSL: Herrera (caution), 78
POR: GK Clark, D Moreira, D Mabiala, D Tuiloma, D Valentin, M Flores (Polo, 60), M Paredes, M Chara, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Melano, 83), F Valeri © (Cascante, 86)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Attinella, D Villafaña, M Zambrano, M Conechny
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Blanco, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Blanco, 2); FOULS: 10 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES:6
RSL: GK Putna, D Herrera, D Glad, D Onuoha, D Toia (Plata, 86), M Besler (Lennon, 80), M Kreilach ©, M Savarino, M Rusnák, M Baird (Saucedo, 69), F Johnson
Substitutes Not Used: GK Horwath, D Silva, M Mulholland, M Portillo
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Savarino, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Saucedo, 2); FOULS: 11 (Besler, 4); OFFSIDES: 8; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES:1
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
4th Official: Farhad Dadkho
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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