Timbers draw RSL, clinch playoff spot

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by FRANK MUNGEAM, KGW.com and AP Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:05 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- In their final home game of the 2013 MLS regular season, the Portland Timbers had many chances but could not score against Real Salt Lake and finished in a 0-0 draw.

The Timbers clinched its first-ever spot in the MLS playoffs earlier in the day when Seattle lost to FC Dallas.

The Timbers had the best opportunities in a match that featured plenty of attacking, but could not beat stalwart goalkeeping RSL keeper Nick Romando.

The Timbers tested RSL in the 43rd minute when a pass by Jose Adolfo Valencia barely eluded Kalif Alhassan just in front of goal. The Timbers' best chance came in extra time, when Will Johnson sent a free kick ripping into the box. RSL keeper Nick Romando blocked the shot but then Zizzo got on the rebound with a header on goal but Romando saved that shot as well. 

Real Salt Lake's best opportunity came when Luis Gil's header off Chris Wingert's cross skipped wide of the goal in the 12th minute.

It was the 13th shutout for Timbers keeper Donovan Ricketts.

With the result, the Timbers remain in first place in the Western Division with 54 points, one point ahead of RSL and 3 points ahead of the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders. Real Salt Lake will clinch a playoff spot if San Jose loses to Los Angeles on Sunday.

The Timbers end the regular season with a match October 26 at Chivas USA. 

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