RSL beats Portland 4-2 in first leg of Western Conference Championship

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SALT LAKE CITY — Real Salt Lake exploded for four goals in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship series, and they beat Portland 4-2 in front of more than 17,000 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium Sunday night.

They’ll carry that score into the second leg on Nov. 24 in Portland. The team that wins the aggregate score advances to the MLS Cup Final.

Former RSL player Will Johnson started the scoring in the first half. He beat RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando with a free kick to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.

RSL tied it up later in the first half when Chris Schuler headed home a corner kick from Javier Morales.  Then just six minutes later, RSL took the lead on a goal from Robbie Findley.  Findley took advantage of a defensive mistake from Portland to put RSL up 2-1 in the 41st minute.

RSL kept attacking in the second half. They scored twice on goals from Devon Sandoval and Morales to build a 4-1 lead.

Portland scored in stoppage time on a header from Frederic Piquionne to make the final score 4-2.