Real Salt Lake hold off Timbers to reach Western Conference semis
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

Real Salt Lake regained their composure after blacking out in the second half to beat the Portland Timbers by a score of 2-1 on Saturday and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Jefferson Savarino scored in the 87th minute to deny the Timbers' comeback attempt.

RSL blitzed the opposition in the first half, outshooting the visitors 9-0. Damir Kreilach found a breakthrough in the 28th minute when he drifted into the box to head in an uncontested cross.

Portland goalkeeper Steve Clarke produced a string of spectacular saves to limit the damage.

When the teams broke for half time, it appeared RSL would run away with the match. However, the ensuing 45 minutes went far off-script.

The Timbers hit their opponent immediately and, as was common in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, found an equalizer off a corner kick. Dairon Asprilla leaped over several defenders to galvanize Portland.

Nick Rimando - who announced he's retiring at the end of the season - kept RSL from collapsing with a superb diving save on Sebastian Blanco's long-range effort.

The hosts stabilized themselves and Savarino soon found himself in open space to decide the contest.

Freddy Juarez's side will now travel to Seattle to face the Sounders on Wednesday.

Real Salt Lake hold off Timbers to reach Western Conference semis
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