Real Salt Lake 2, Portland Timbers 0 | US Open Cup Match Recap
SANDY, Utah – The last time Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers met in the US Open Cup, it was for a place in the final in 2013. They met again in the tournament's Round of 16 Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, and once again, the result was the same.
The first half opened with both sides poking and prodding, patiently trying to find an opening in each other’s defense. The Timbers thought that they found a way through in the seventh minute, but Gaston Fernandez was whistled offside and his shot was nullified.
RSL had a few “almosts” of their own.
Defender Aaron Maund nearly headed a goal home in the 28th minute. A couple of minutes later, Morales tried to chip Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey after he had ranged far off his line to clear a ball over the touchline. A quick throw-in from the home side gave the RSL captain a brief window, but his attempt never threatened.
The breakthrough finally arrived 14 minutes into the second half.
RSL forward Olmes Garcia made a determined run, knifing through Portland’s defense before playing a perfectly weighted ball into space for Jaime, whose one-time shot to the far post gave his side the lead.
Morales stepped to the spot and calmly approached the ball, executing his signature stutter step before blasting a shot to the left of a diving Kwarasey, who guessed the correct direction but could not prevent the goal.
RSL resume league action with a visit from Orlando City on Saturday (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE), while Portland will return home to face the visiting San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday afternoon (5 pm ET, ESPN2).