In crisp mountain air of Utah, the Portland Timbers traveled to take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. After an opening period that saw both team trading a few parries, Salt Lake drew first blood. In the 23rd minute, RSL's Luke Mulholland collected a loose ball off a corner kick, turned and fired into the low left corner of the Timbers net to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
But the Timbers started to open the game up. Following a great counter that created a corner kick for Portland, Diego Valeri lofted in a ball at the top of the six where Fanendo Adi muscled off his defender and glanced in a header to tie the game 1-1.
Then just before the half, the Timbers broke out on a blistering counter attack. Gastón Fernández came down the middle, weighed his options before offering a nice pass to Darlington Nagbe on the right wing. Nagbe took a touch before blasting it right on frame. RSL 'keeper Jeff Attinella couldn't hold on to the laser and Adi jumped on the rebound to smash it home for a 2-1 Timbers lead.
The second half brought some good developments for Portland. After RSL's Tony Beltran received two yellows in the 53rd and 54th minute for fouls on Nagbe, the home team was down to 10 men. In the 72nd minute, Steve Zakuani and Valeri combined for some beautfiul combo play on the left side. Zakuani tried to feed Valeri on the run but his shot was knocked away by a hand ball in the box. The Timbers were awarded their first penalty kick in 2014 and team captain Will Johnson slammed it home for a 3-1 Portland lead.