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RSL battles to 0-0 draw in Portland

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake needed to stop the bleeding, and that was the first order of business tonight against Portland Timbers.

Thankfully for all of us here, they managed it, drawing 0-0 with Portland Timbers in a match that lacked sharpness from both sides.

  • The only particularly notable unforced change (at least, we haven’t been told it was forced by any sort of injury) — Everton Luiz started over Scott Caldwell.
  • 16’ Zac MacMath had his first save of the match, stopping a middling header from crossing the line without too much trouble. This play is notable because Portland played a short-ish corner that exposed a huge gap for RSL.
  • 18’ A bit of an opportunity for RSL in Portland’s box with Aljaz Ivacic fumbling a bit in the box. Nothing really came of it except a couple long throw-ins, but the scoreline remained locked at 0-0.
  • Halftime already? Well, Maikel Chang took a boot to the hand (and perhaps the head?) from Sergio Cordova, and Everton Luiz had a bicycle kick clearance land at the feet of a Portland player, who forced a good save. It’s not been pretty, but the score is still level.
  • 57’ Everton Luiz did it again. He tried a bicycle kick in the penalty box. It was an intensely bad decision, and it nearly landed directly to a Portland player in the box. Please stop that. Moments later,
  • 66’ Pablo Ruiz pings the post with a really nice shot in the box, picks up the rebound, and has his subsequent shot blocked. It was quite a play from the midfielder, who was unlucky not to put RSL ahead.
  • 73’ A musing on Justen Glad: He’s really good. He just tends to be in the right places defensively, and it’s been a huge part of why this game is 0-0.
  • 76’ Maikel Chang sort of tests the goalkeeper with a shot that bounces off of him from close range. It was a nice pass that almost created something out of nothing.
  • 77’ Portland’s Claudio Bravo is shown a yellow card for a pretty bad tackle on Aaron Herrera, who thankfully appears to be OK.
  • 89’ MacMath looks like he’s going to play the ball quickly and thinks better of it. Smart.
  • Six minutes of stoppage time, huh?
  • Well, this is a good result, isn’t it? It’s not a great result. It’s a good one.