Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Larrys Mabiala, Diego Chara and Sebastian Blanco scored and the Portland Timbers clinched a spot in the Major League Soccer playoffs with a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday.

Both teams went into the game needing a win would secure a spot in the playoffs outright without help from other teams. Portland would also clinch with a tie.

It was the final regular-season match for Real Salt Lake (14-13-7). The team will have to wait until next weekend's final matches to see if they are going to the postseason.

The Timbers (15-9-9) went up early when Mabiala punched in a goal off a free kick from Diego Valeri in the 15th minute. It was Mabiala's fifth goal of the season.

Chara's goal, his second this year, came in the 69th minute and Blanco sealed it with his goal in the 87th. 

It was the second of back-to-back games against RSL for the Timbers. Portland defeated RSL 4-1 in Salt Lake on Oct. 6 before the international break. RSL, however, played at home on Thursday night, beating the Revolution 4-1.

Real Salt Lake came into the match with three road wins this season. Damir Kreilach was the team's top scorer in the regular season with 12 goals.

The Timbers were still without goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, who hurt his shoulder in a match against FC Dallas on Sept. 29. Steve Clark started his second straight game in goal for Portland.

Clark had a pair of impressive saves. The first came at the end of the first half when he stopped Kyle Beckerman's header from the center of the box. The second came two minutes into the second half when he punched away defender Justen Glad's point-blank shot following a corner.

RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando yelled at Glad for his defense of Blanco on the final goal of the match. It was Blanco's 10th of the season, tying him for the team lead with Valeri.

Portland wraps up the season next weekend at Vancouver.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

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