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Real Salt Lake Bounces Timbers from the U.S. Open Cup

The Timbers can’t muster a second dose of Open Cup magic, as they’re smothered by Real Salt Lake to crash out of the Round of 16.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake eliminated the Portland Timbers from the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday evening with a 2-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Sebastian Jaime opened the scoring in the 54th minute when he collected a ball on the right side of the box from Olmes Garcia on the right side of the box and slotted the ball underneath Adam Kwarasey and inside the far post.

The Claret-and-Cobalt didn’t open on the front foot, however. The Timbers briefly looked like they had gone up in the 7th minute when Maximiliano Urruti slipped Gaston Fernandez through on goal and La Gata finished past Jeff Attinella, but the referee’s assistant flagged La Gata for a close offside to nullify the tally.

The Timbers continued the pressure through the opening spell of play, with Urruti forcing a diving save from Attinella in the 13th minute. The RSL keeper, however, was up to the task and Rodney Wallace couldn’t put the rebound into the open net.

As the half went along the Timbers increasingly struggled to work the ball through midfield and Real Salt Lake attacked relentlessly down the Timbers’ left flank. All the Claret-and-Cobalt could muster, however, was a collection of crosses from Garcia and Tony Beltran that the Timbers’ defense cleaned up with only modest concern.

Those opportunities on the wings for RSL became more dangerous after halftime, however, leading to Jaime’s opener. And as the Claret-and-Cobalt committed more numbers to midfield, Urruti and Fernandez became increasingly stranded up top and the Timbers wingers increasingly occupied in defense.

With the Timbers pinned in, Real Salt Lake applied consistent pressure and earned their second from the penalty spot in the 71st minute. After George Fochive brought down Joao Plata on the edge of the box in the 69th minute, Javier Morales stepped to the spot, got Kwarasey to hesitate with a stutter, and buried the ball inside the post.

With the loss the Timbers crash out of the U.S. Open Cup after their second away game to MLS competition for the third year in a row. The Timbers’ struggles winning multiple away games in U.S. Open Cup is in line with history, as no team since 2007 has qualified for the Open Cup Final having played more than one game on the road.

But it wasn’t the bad side of a coin alone that defeated the Timbers on Wednesday evening. In the end, RSL’s near-constant pressure was too much for Portland to withstand.

And so, for the second time in three years, the Timbers' Open Cup run came to an end in Salt Lake City.