Portland remains undefeated in four matches, takes point from Utah.
Following a 90-minute weather delay in Sandy, Utah the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake faced-off in matchday 13 on Wednesday evening.
Evander looked in form throughout the first 45 minutes of action. Still buzzing from his superstar performances in matchdays 11 and 12, the Brazilian midfielder looked comfortable and most dangerous for Portland. He took his first gander at Zac MacMath in the 13th minute, firing a shot across the goal that was quickly parried away. He then had an on-frame free kick saved by Zac MacMath in the 40th.
Aljaz Ivacic looked firm beneath his posts, stopping RSL opportunities with absurd reflexes. Just before the halftime whistle, Ivacic provided another 'save of the match' candidate in a one-handed reflex save that denied the hosts the lead.
As play resumed, so did the 50-50 battle on the field.
The Timbers had their first clear chance of the stormy night in the 57th minute. Santiago Moreno swiftly intercepted a defensive pass in the RSL final third, and on the bounce crossed it to a waiting Franck Boli in the box. Off the volley, Boli took a right-legged swing towards goal. MacMath, also solid throughout the night, quickly put his hands on the shot, preventing Portland's first.
In the 74th, second-half substitute Dairon Asprilla nearly struck the net. Pushing a recovered ball into RSL's box, Asprilla dribbled through a few defenders before unleashing a low right-footed blast towards MacMath's right. The ball curved outward and kissed off the outside of the post. Just 10 minutes since being brought on, Asprilla was already causing trouble.
A close matchup from beginning to end, neither team would be able to harm the other. Portland continues their fine run of form in league play and are undefeated in their last four matches (2-0-2). The Portland defense was the star of the night, keeping Real Salt Lake scoreless for yet another 90 minutes, adding to their three-match (270 minute) streak.
Still hanging tight in 6th place, the Timbers will fly back to Portland for a quick refocus before hosting Minnesota United FC on Saturday May 20 (7:30pm PST kickoff).