Portland Timbers defender Claudio Bravo (5) splits between Real Salt Lake’s Bobby Wood, left, and Maikel Chang during an MLS soccer match Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Portland, Ore. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath made five saves and Real Salt Lake held off the Portland Timbers for a scoreless draw Saturday night.
The Timbers (2-2-6) remained undefeated in their past three games. They also played to a 0-0 draw at Houston last Saturday.
Real Salt Lake (3-2-5) was routed 6-0 last weekend by NYCFC, and then lost an Open Cup match to the third-division side Colorado Hailstorm 1-0 on Wednesday night.
“We just really needed to put in a team effort,” MacMath said. “There was a lot more discipline this week than last week, and I think you can tell that the guys did a great job with it.”
Portland beat RSL in all four of their meetings last season, outscoring them 14-4. The last time an MLS team had a four-game sweep of an opponent was in 2010, when the Galaxy swept the Sounders.
Sebastian Blanco, who has seven goals and seven assists all-time against RSL, couldn’t break through for the Timbers and was subbed off in the 59th minute.
“We’re creating, we just have to find a goal and put it in the back of the net,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said about the consecutive scoreless games.
Justin Glad, who played Wednesday after missing the previous four matches, was in the starting lineup for Salt Lake. Goalkeeper David Ochoa made his season debut in the Open Cup, but after playing the full 90 minutes he was not available against the Timbers.
“I think we could have walked out with three points but it was massive, it was important to get a result especially bouncing back after what happened in New York,” Glad said. “The mentality to come back after a result like that, and Portland is a tough, tough place to play, and to bounce back like that is huge.”
Portland played without veteran midfielder Diego Chara, who has a sore hip.
The Timbers dominated possession (66.7 percent) and outshot RSL 15-5. One of Salt Lake’s better chances came in the 76th minute, but Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic got the save.
Ivacic also stopped Sergio Cordova’s shot in stoppage time to preserve the draw.
“Not happy with the result really,” Portland midfielder Cristhian Paredes said. “We wanted and had to win this match, and we came in with that mentality, and we weren’t able to score any goals.”