Alvaro Saborio opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a header at the back post off a cross from Kyle Beckerman. The Timbers made it too easy for Real Salt Lake, with two opponents left open right in front of the far post.
The Timbers, as they are wont to do, showed up a few minutes later, about 15 minutes into the match. From that point to the end of the first half, they were the better team, controlling possession and getting the better of the scoring chances, most notably an outstanding volley from Will Johnson that Nick Rimando manage to deflect over the bar. RSL's defense was too hard to pick apart though, and the Timbers were trailing as they went into the locker rooms at halftime.
The second half was, as the announcers were oh-so fond of saying, somewhat of a chess match, with each team trying to outsmart the other. Real Salt Lake tried to put the game away and looked dangerous on the counter, while the Timbers controlled possession and tried to get a goal back.
Salt Lake got what they needed in the 78th, when they won a free kick in the middle. A few passes later, Joao Plata had a wide open shot on goal from outside the box, catching Donovan Ricketts off his line.
Portland made things interesting at the stroke of 90, as Diego Valeri danced through a number of Salt Lake defenders and took a shot. Rimando saved, but Valeri was the first to his own rebound and headed it in for the goal. The ref awarded four minutes of stoppage, but Real Salt Lake was able to ride it out.