MLS Decision Day: Real Salt Lake downs Portland to claim final playoff spot in the West

Real Salt Lake welcomed the Portland Timbers to Rio Tinto Stadium for Decision Day knowing it needed a win to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. A 3-0 rout secured the victory and sent Pablo Mastroeni’s side to the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

RSL opened the scoring thanks to a spectacular finish from Jefferson Savarino before 20 minutes had been played. The Venezuelan collected a pass outside the box and skipped past his defender to have a sight at goal. Immediately, he opened his hips and caressed his shot around a Portland defender and past the keeper into the side netting. 

A second goal, courtesy of Rubio Rubín, put RSL firmly in the driver's seat as Portland continued to struggle. 20-year-old Bode Davis scored the third, putting the nail in the coffin for a Timbers side that never truly showed up. 

Portland managed to get a consolation goal just before full-time, but the result was all but guaranteed at that point. 

RSL’s first win since Aug. 31 ensured that the Timbers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. With the win, RSL grabs the seventh and final spot in the West and faces the second seed, Austin FC, in the first round of the playoffs next weekend.

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