Timbers edge RSL for first win since coaching change

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Aug 30, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers midfielder Santiago Moreno (30) kicks the ball during the first half against Real Salt Lake defender Andrew Brody (2) at Providence Park.

Aug 30, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers midfielder Santiago Moreno (30) kicks the ball during the first half against Real Salt Lake defender Andrew Brody (2) at Providence Park.
Image: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Santiago Moreno had a goal and an assist as the Portland Timbers defeated visiting Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Wednesday night, giving interim coach Miles Joseph his first MLS victory.

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Felipe Mora also scored and David Bingham made four saves for the Timbers (7-11-8, 29 points), who snapped a four-match losing streak in all competitions. It was the second match in charge for Joseph, who took over from the fired Giovanni Savarese last week.

Cristian Arango scored for Real Salt Lake (10-9-7, 37 points), who dropped their fourth match in a row in all competitions. The skid has occurred since midfielder Pablo Ruiz sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Moreno scored in the 13th minute thanks to some sloppy defending by RSL.

The Timbers drove down the center of the pitch before cycling the ball to Evander near the top left of the penalty area. Evander spun and chipped a pass over the defense to Juan Mosquera on the right wing. The ball took a high bounce off the turf, and Mosquera saved it from going over the end line by lobbing a pass toward the top of the 6-yard box.

As four Salt Lake players stood in their tracks, Moreno raced between them and put a header over goalkeeper Zac MacMath’s head and just under the crossbar.

The Timbers doubled their advantage in the 64th minute. They sent the ball to Moreno just inside the right edge of the penalty area, and he settled it and passed to a charging Mora, who put a one-timer from 10 yards out into the upper right corner of the net.

Mora, who came on as a substitute in the 57th minute, scored for a second straight match.

Arango tallied for RSL in the 83rd minute, redirecting Brayan Vera’s 20-yard shot into the lower right corner of the net.

Bingham’s lone save of the first half was a diving stop at the left post on a 30-yard blast by Salt Lake’s Nelson Palacio in the 38th minute.

Bingham made a routine stop on a 10-yard header by Rubio Rubin in the 54th minute, saved Braian Ojeda’s attempt from outside the area two minutes later and got a hand on Andres Gomez’s low, 8-yard blast in the 61st to steer it wide of the right post. Vera rang a 25-yard attempt off the left post seconds later.

—Field Level Media

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