Danso lifts Timbers to draw

SANDY, Utah — More than 90 minutes of good soccer for Real Salt Lake was wiped away with a split-second defensive lapse.

Futty Danso scored in stoppage time to lift the Portland Timbers to a 1-1 draw with Salt Lake on Saturday night. Danso slipped behind the defense and tapped the ball into an open net.

His late goal helped the Timbers (11-14-9) finish the season on a positive note after barely missing out on a playoff berth. It also left Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis feeling disappointed at seeing his team throw away two points in the waning moments.

"It's that time of year where it comes down to split-second decisions," Kreis said. "We had a little bit of a lapse of focus there at the end and we don't get the result that we wanted. Perhaps that will be a good lesson for us going into the playoffs."

Alvaro Saborio scored in the 45th minute for Salt Lake (15-11-8), which clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season a month ago and could have wrapped up third place in the Western Conference with a win.

Saborio got his 11th goal in MLS play this season when he beat Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins as he charged toward him and chipped the ball over Perkins' head. The ball took a high bounce and bounded into the net to give Salt Lake the lead moments before halftime.

The goal from Saborio snapped a 270-minute scoreless streak for Salt Lake, going back to a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles on Oct. 1.

Salt Lake failed to build on the lead because it struggled to possess the ball in the second half after doing a good job of controlling play before halftime.

"In the second half, we didn't get the ball," Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales said. "When this team doesn't have the ball, it's hard for us."

Portland had a chance to tie the score in the 56th minute when Jack Jewsbury lined up for a penalty kick following a handball infraction by Salt Lake. However, Jewsbury hit the ball off the crossbar.

Danso made up for the miss when he slipped behind the Salt Lake defense for his late goal. His late game heroics symbolized perfectly the roller coaster season that Salt Lake has experienced up to this point. Salt Lake has looked like one of the league's best teams some weeks and one of its worst teams other weeks.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando said it is time for the team to put those ups and downs behind them with playoff games to prepare for starting next week.

"All these streaks and everything go away once the playoffs start," Rimando said. "The records go away. If you show up that day and continue to (win) through the playoffs, you have a good shot at winning the cup."

Share This Story