Timbers Record 4-1 Road Win over Real Salt Lake
SANDY, Utah - Scoring three unanswered goals in the second half, the Portland Timbers recorded a 4-1 win on the road against Real Salt Lake in front of 20,034 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night. Sebastián Blanco scored a brace in a three-minute span, the second two-goal efforts of his career for Portland, and added an assist. Jeremy Ebobisse scored his second goal of the campaign and registered his first assist of the season, while Lucas Melano scored his first goal of the 2018 season to help the Timbers secure the win on the road.
With two matches remaining on the regular-season schedule, Portland (14-9-9, 51pts) currently sits in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Timbers lead fifth-place Seattle Sounders FC (47pts) by four points and increased their lead over Real Salt Lake (46pts) in sixth place to five points. In addition, Portland sits just two points out of second place as Los Angeles FC and Sporting Kansas City are tied with 53 points.
Setting the table
Blanco recorded his 10th assist of the season on Ebobisse's first-half goal. He is just the second Timbers player in the MLS era to record 10 or more assists in a season along with Diego Valeri. Notably, it marked the first time Portland has had two players record double-digit assists in single season in MLS play. The Timbers are one of four teams in MLS (Atlanta, Montreal, Vancouver) that have multiple players with 10 or more assists in 2018. In addition, Valeri recorded his team-leading 11th assist of the season, while Ebobisse recorded his first assist of the campaign. Ebobisse is the 14th different player to record an assist for Portland in 2018.
With two goals and an assist, Blanco has nine goals and 10 assists on the season for Portland, which are career bests in both categories. In his last seven appearances, Blanco has tallied three goals and five assists. In addition, Blanco has recorded a goal or an assist in each of his last three matches (3g, 2a) and has registered three goals and an assist in his last two road matches.
Against Real Salt Lake
Portland is just the second team to record a win at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2018, handing Real Salt Lake its first home loss since March 10. With the win, the Timbers have earned at least one point in five of their last six matches (4-1-1) on the road against Real Salt Lake, scoring in six consecutive road matches against Real Salt Lake.
The Timbers opened the scoring in the 33rd minute as Ebobisse tallied his second goal of the season. Holding a spell of possession, Portland built its attack down the right side of the field. Receiving a pass from Zarek Valentin outside the box, Blanco dribbled toward the end line and slotted a low, hard cross to the center of the box for Ebobisse, who finished with a sliding shot from close range.
Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark made a key defensive play late in the first half. Joao Plata played a ball over the top of Portland's back line into space for Jefferson Savarino making a run into the box. Before Savarino could attempt a shot, Clark came off his line and knocked the ball away in the 41st minute.
Portland nearly doubled its lead its lead in the 48th minute. After receiving a pass from Andy Polo, Ebobisse dribbled down the left side of the field and delivered a cross to the middle of the box for Blanco, who fired a shot from close range, forcing a save from Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Real Salt Lake leveled the match in the 55th minute as Savarino finished with a curling shot inside the box. Plata and Savarino combined near the left side of the box as Savarino received a quick slip pass running into the box and he fired the ball into the back of the net.
In the 58th minute, Portland generated another scoring chance on a set piece. Valeri floated the ball into the box on a free kick for Bill Tuiloma, who jumped and put a header on target, but Rimando dove to his right to make the stop.
The Timbers took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute. Blanco attempted to chip the ball into the box for Valeri, but Real Salt Lake's Justen Glad cleared the ball away with a header. Blanco pounced on the clearance and weaved his way through the box down the left side before firing a strike into the bottom, right corner for his eight goal of the season.
Just three minutes later, Blanco increased Portland's lead with the second brace of his Timbers career and his ninth goal of the 2018 campaign. Controlling the ball in Real Salt Lake's half of the field, Ebobisse played a quick pass to Valeri running at the edge of the box. Blanco made a late run into the box down the left side and Valeri played a short pass to Blanco, who finished with a well-placed strike inside the right post.
Portland added a fourth goal late in the match as Melano scored his first goal of the season in the 88th minute. Real Salt Lake's Nick Besler attempted to send a long throw-in back into the box for Rimando and Melano pounced and converted at the goal line.
With the win, Portland has recorded 50 or more points in consecutive seasons (2017, 2018), reaching this mark for the fourth time in club history.
In its last six MLS matches at Real Salt Lake, Portland has scored in all six matches, while compiling a record of 4-1-1.
The Timbers scored four goals in a match for the first time in 2018. The match was Portland's first time scoring four away goals since Oct. 18, 2015, against the LA Galaxy.
Sebastián Blanco tallied his 10th assist of the season in the match, which is tied for the team lead with Diego Valeri. It is the first time Portland has had two players record double-digit assists in single season in MLS play.
For all eras (since 1975), the 2018 season is the first season Portland has had multiple players with 10 or more assists since 1982.
Blanco registered his second career brace for the Timbers in the match and his first brace of the 2018 season. He is the third different player (Samuel Armenteros, Larrys Mabiala) to record a brace this season for Portland.
Portland is one of four teams (Atlanta, Montreal, Vancouver) with multiple players that have recorded 10 or more assists this season.
Blanco now has nine goals for the season, setting a new career high, which surpassed his career high for goals with eight from 2017.
Jeremy Ebobisse scored his second goal of the season and the third of his MLS career.
Ebobisse tallied his first assist of the season. He is the 14th different player to record an assist for the Timbers this season.
Ebobisse scored a goal and had an assist for the second time in his MLS career. In his six career MLS starts, Ebobisse has three goals and two assists.
Blanco is the second Timbers player in the MLS era to record 10 or more assists in a single season.
Lucas Melano scored his first goal of the season. The goal was Melano's first for the Timbers since Aug. 28, 2016.
Melano is the 15th different player to score an MLS goal for the Timbers in 2018. The 15 different goal scorers are the most different goal scorers Portland has had in a single MLS season.
The four total wins at Rio Tinto Stadium tie BC Place as the location where the Timbers have collected the most away wins in MLS play.
Following a league-wide international break, the Timbers play host to Real Salt Lake in their final home game of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 21, at Providence Park. Beginning at 2 p.m. (Pacific), the match features a local television broadcast on ROOT SPORTS and local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (14-9-9, 51pts) vs. Real Salt Lake (13-12-7, 46pts)
Oct. 6, 2018 - Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 3 4
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
POR: Ebobisse (Blanco), 33
RSL: Savarino (Plata), 55
POR: Blanco, 70
POR: Blanco (Valeri, Ebobisse), 73
POR: Melano, 88
POR: Chara (caution), 26
POR: Guzmán (caution), 55
RSL: Beckerman (caution), 58
POR: Sunny (caution), 66
POR: Valeri (caution), 90+1
POR: GK Clark, D Valentin, D Mabiala, D Tuiloma (Cascante, 68), D Villafaña, M Guzmán, M Chara, M Polo (Asprilla, 90+1), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Melano, 77)
Substitutes Not Used: GK McIntosh, M Olum, M Paredes, M Flores
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Blanco, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Blanco, 3); FOULS: 9 (Asprilla, Ebobisse, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 2
RSL: GK Rimando, D Lennon, D Besler, D Glad, D Herrera (Saucedo, 80), M Kreilach, M Beckerman ©, M Rusnák, F Savarino, F Baird (Sunny, 63), F Plata
Substitutes Not Used: GK Putna, D Barry, D Onuoha, M Mulholland, F L. Silva
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Savarino, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Plata, 2); FOULS: 10 (Beckerman, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Drew Fischer
VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Weather: Cloudy, 51 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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