Alvaro Saborio ran Portland out of town, scoring two headers in two minutes and converting a penalty to claim a second-half hat trick.
After a low-key opening period, with Portland's Eric Alexander having perhaps the best chance when he skipped his shot past Nick Rimando's far post, Real Salt Lake snapped to life in the second half. Right on the hour mark, Luis Gil cut in from the flank and found Kyle Beckerman floating behind the penalty area. The Salt Lake captain lofted a chip that was finished expertly by Saborio's head.
Almost immediately, Saborio added a second with his noggin, beating the offside trap to burst into the penalty box and nod home Chris Wingert's cross.
The game was not without controversy. Diego Chara was more than fortunate to escape with only a yellow in an incident in which he scythed Javier Morales down from behind, pushed the RSL midfielder in the chest as he tried to get up, and then kicked him. Will Johnson, David Horst, and Kyle Beckerman also received yellows for their involvement in the ensuing brouhaha. A minute later, Lovel Palmer also saw yellow for targeting Morales with a reckless challenge.
Chara would get his comeuppance, though. Standing on the goal line to defend a Salt Lake corner, he handled the ball on the line, preventing a goal. Chara saw red, and Saborio stepped up and converted the spot kick to seal his hat trick and a man of the match performance.
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