Timbers, Real Salt Lake draw 0-0 in MLS
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Real Salt Lake drew 0-0 with the Portland Timbers on Friday in a match that may have decided the Western Conference playoff picture in Major League Soccer.
Salt Lake moved two points ahead of FC Dallas for third place in the conference. The fourth-place team will face a play-in game with the fifth-place team to start the playoffs.
The Timbers, meanwhile, squandered an opportunity to strengthen its bid for the playoffs. Portland is level with Vancouver for the fifth spot in the West, but has one fewer game remaining in the regular season.
Salt Lake goalie Nick Rimando made seven saves in the match, while Portland’s Donovan Ricketts had three.
The Timbers had 18 shots on goal in the second half — five on target — but Rimando made a number of highlight saves to prevent the home side from picking up three valuable points.
In the 61st minute, Rimando stopped a shot by Diego Valeri and dove to block the rebound attempt by Darlington Nagbe. Fifteen minutes later, he made a diving save on a header by Noberto Paparatto.
Rimando was also helped by his defense, with Luis Gil clearing another Paparatto header on the goal line.