Real Salt Lake entered Saturday night looking to halt a four-match winless skid and looking to reassert their place as an MLS Cup favorite and Western Conference title contender.
RSL accomplished all those things with one dominating display at Rio Tinto Stadium. Alvaro Saborio notched a hat trick to help give Real Salt Lake a 3-0 victory against the Portland Timbers.
The Timbers defended well in the first half, keeping RSL off the board, but Real Salt Lake finally broke through in the 60th minute when Saborio finished off a Kyle Beckerman pass to open the scoring. He added his second just two minutes later before capping his hat-trick with a 75th-minute penalty kick.
The loss was a bitter pill for a Timbers side that came in feeling good after a crucial mid-week victory against MLS leaders San Jose. On Saturday, Portland was thoroughly dominated, and didn't muster a single shot on goal all night.
Some of the credit for RSL's dominating defensive showing has to go to star centerback Jamison Olave, who return to action after missing the past four matches with an injury. It isn't a coincidence that RSL failed to win a match without the imposing Colombian defender.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with RSL's offense on the night? Disappointed with Portland's non-existent offense?
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