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RSL tops Portland to clinch playoff spot

Sep 23, 2012 - 2:23 AM Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Real Salt Lake secured a spot in the postseason on Saturday, escaping its match at Rio Tinto Stadium with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers.

The Claret and Cobalt jumped out to a comfortable two-goal lead by the halftime break thanks to a pair of set pieces.

The home side opened the scoring in the 14th minute from a well-worked restart as Javier Morales rolled the ball back for Fabian Espindola to hammer a left- footed shot through the Portland wall and just inside the near post.

Morales then doubled the lead directly from a free kick in the 36th minute, curling a shot over the wall and under the crossbar for his third goal of the year.

Salt Lake appeared to be in cruise control until Bright Dike's header in the 61st minute made for somewhat of a nervous finish, but Jason Kreis' squad pulled out the victory to bounce back from a loss to the Houston Dynamo last time out.

Real Salt Lake (15-11-4) sits second in the West on 49 points and returns to action on September 29 with a trip to The Home Depot Center to face Chivas USA. Portland (7-15-8) remains second from bottom in the West on 29 points as the club heads home to face D.C. United next Saturday.