Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata (10) and Portland Timbers Chance Myers (4) vie for the ball during an MLS soccer match Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Portland, Ore. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Joao Plata scored twice and Kyle Beckerman added a goal before receiving a red card in Real Salt Lake’s 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night.
The eventful match featured seven yellow cards and three red cards.
Albert Rusnak also scored for Salt Lake (7-12-2), and Jack Barmby connected for Portland (7-8-6)
The action kicked off in the 10th minute, when Beckerman received a pass 25 yards from the Portland goal. With no defenders attempting to close in on him, the midfielder unleashed a right-footed rocket over leaping goalkeeper Jake Gleeson for his third goal of the season.
Salt Lake doubled the lead in the 50th minute, after Portland’s Dairon Asprilla was called for a foul after stepping on Jefferson Savarino’s foot while trying to tackle the ball away in the Portland penalty area. Plata drilled the penalty kick into the lower right corner as Gleeson dove to the left.
In the 53rd minute, Portland’s Victor Arboleda, who entered the game in first half stoppage time, was shown a red card for running into Plata with an apparently high elbow.
Two minutes later, Beckerman was called for a foul on Adi. Adi then rushed at Beckerman, knocking him to the ground with a chest-bump. After the ensuing fracas settled down, both players were shown red cards, leaving Salt Lake with 10 players and Portland with nine.
Salt Lake continued the scoring in the 68th minute, with a bit of good fortune. Rusnak scooped a pass over the Portland defense for Plata, who rolled the ball across the box back to Rusnak. His shot hit off the crossbar and off the back of a diving Gleeson for Rusnak’s fifth of the season.
Plata capped Salt Lake’s scoring in the 80th minute, running onto a threaded pass by Danilo Acosta and sliding a shot under Gleeson for his fifth of the season.
Portland got a consolation goal in second-half stoppage time, when Barmby hit a long, bouncing shot past goalkeeper Nick Rimando for Barmby’s first of the season.