PORTLAND (ABC4 Sports) – Once the floodgates opened, Real Salt Lake could not stop the goals from coming.
Brothers Yimmi and Diego Chara each scored second-half goals and the Portland Timbers increased their unbeaten run to six games with a 6-1 runaway win Saturday over visiting Real Salt Lake.
Felipe Mora, Dairon Asprilla, Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Christhian Paredes also scored for the Timbers (12-10-4, 40 points), who vaulted into fourth place in the Western Conference with eight games remaining in the regular season.
“This last week of travel, the emotional impact that it had, you saw some tired legs out there for sure,” said RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “A lot of times it looks like lack of effort and tiredness, but we didn’t do a very good job of winning first balls that were crossed in and we did a very poor job of winning second balls and we did very poorly in transition defense.”
The scoring output matched the Timbers’ largest in an MLS regular-season game in franchise history.
Damir Kreilach scored a goal for Real Salt Lake (10-10-6, 36 points), his team-leading 11th of the season and his third in his last four games. Kreilach has scored a goal in both games against the Timbers this season, both RSL defeats.
Real Salt Lake remained in sole possession of the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark had eight saves in the victory, while RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa made three saves.
“A lot of things went wrong,” said RSL defender Justen Glad. “Every transition they had they were dangerous and we didn’t have a response for it. They took their opportunities and finished them well. We were all over the place, it wasn’t good enough.”
Mora gave the Timbers a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when he scored on the counter attack off a centering pass from Blanco. It was his team-leading 11th of the season. Asprilla made it 2-0 in the 36th minute on a close-range header off a feed from beyond midfield by Dario Zuparic, his seventh on the year.
Kreilach cut the Portland lead in half when he scored in the 41st minute.
The Chara brothers put the game away for Portland in the second half. Yimmi Chara scored his fourth of the season in the 48th minute off a feed from Blanco, and Diego Chara scored his first of the season in the 68th minute off a pass from his brother.
“We started sloppily like last time, we gave up two goals from nothing,” said RSL midfielder Albert Rusnak. “It’s not going to be perfect every time, you are not always going to win from behind. We can’t afford to go behind almost every other game and be chasing games. In San Jose it went our way and we were able to come back, but today it didn’t work. We got hit on the counter-attack many times.”
The onslaught continued in the 85th minute as Niezgoda scored in his return from injury, while Parades added another in the 88th minute. Parades entered the game in the 75th minute, while Niezgoda came off the bench in the 80th minute.
Real Salt Lake (10-10-6) next hosts the LA Galaxy Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m.