two-goal performance by midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe was outdone
by late goals from midfielders Jonny Steele and Kyle Beckerman in the
final minutes of play as Real Salt Lake defeated the Portland Timbers
3-2 before a sellout crowd of 20,438 fans at
JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night.
Nagbe scored both goals in the second half to help the Timbers (1-2-1, 4pts) overturn a first-half deficit and take a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute. Real Salt Lake was able to level at 2-2 in the 89th minute on well-placed strike by Steele from inside the box. Three minutes into second-half stoppage time, Beckerman received a chip pass from substitute Fabian Espindola and volleyed home the game-winning goal from the top of the area, giving Real Salt Lake (3-1-0, 9pts) all three points in the club's first win over the Timbers.
The Timbers have sold out each of their first two home matches of the 2012 season, extending the club's sellout streak for league games at JELD-WEN Field to 19 matches.
Nagbe becomes the second MLS Timbers players to record a multiple goals in a match, midfielder Eric Alexander logged a pair of assists, midfielder Diego Chara had an assist and goalkeeper Troy Perkins made a season-high five saves for Portland in the loss, the club's second in a row.
Beckerman, Steele and forward Alvaro Saborio all scored their first goals of the season and goalkeeper Nick Rimando recorded a season-high six saves to lead Real Salt Lake to its second road win of the season.
Three minutes into the second half, Nagbe pulled the Timbers level at 1-1 with his second goal of the season. He controlled a bouncing pass from Alexander and worked his way to the top of the box. At the top left side of the area, Nagbe drove a low shot inside the near post, slipping the ball under the diving effort of Rimando, in the 48th minute.
In the 65th minute, Nagbe delivered his second goal of the match, again off a pass from Alexander. Chara set up the play, feeding Alexander on the left side and Alexander looped a pass in to Nagbe at the top of the box. Nagbe settled the ball, and off the bounce, ripped a shot past the outstretched arms of a diving Rimando and into the top far corner of the goal.
Portland looked to close outs its second win of the season, but Steele found the late equalizer in the 89th minute. The second-half sub worked his way between defenders in the Timbers penalty area and tucked a shot just by Perkins and inside the left post to knot the score at 2-2.
Real Salt Lake claimed the lead deep in second-half stoppage and held on to take all three points from the Timbers. With the ball deep down the left side, Espindola picked out an open Beckerman at the top of the box and Beckerman one-timed a bouncing shot in to the back of the net for his first game-winning goal of the 2012 campaign.
A handball called on Timbers defender Rodney in the box in the 38th minute set up Real Salt Lake for the opening score on a penalty kick by Saborio. The veteran forward was able to get Perkins to commit to the left side of the goal and then slotted the ball down the right side for a 1-0 Real Salt Lake lead.
The Timbers play host to Chivas USA on Saturday, April 7, at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be televised live on KPTV and The Portland Timbers Television Network, with radio broadcasts on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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