Timbers down 4-2 going into two-week halftime
Late goal cuts into what was a three-goal lead for RSL
SANDY, Utah What was a disastrous game for the Portland Timbers turned into only a very bad one in the final seconds.
Portland scored with a few ticks left in stoppage time Sunday night to pull within 4-2 of Real Salt Lake halfway through their two-game, aggregate-goal MLS Western Conference finals.
The second leg of the playoff series will be at Jeld-Wen Field on Nov. 24, with kickoff at 6 p.m.
Portland will need to outscore RSL by two goals to force overtime or by three goals to win the series and advance to the MLS championship game Dec. 7.
Real Salt Lake scored twice in each half all after Portland led 1-0 before its announced home crowd of xxx at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Javier Morales had a goal and two assists for the home team.
Will Johnson gave the Timbers a 1-0 advantage in the 14th minute with a 25-yard free kick.
RSL answered with strikes in the 35th off a corner kick and in the 41st minute on a defensive flub by fullback Mamadou "Futty" Danso that Robbie Findley turned into a relatively easy goal.
RSL made the score 3-1 in the 48th minute, then got a corner kick header goal from Morales in the 82nd minute.
Just before the final whistle, though, Portland got some life when substitute Frederic Piquionne headed in a cross from Jack Jewsbury.
The Timbers haven't beaten RSL in their last nine meetings.
Portland lost for the first time in its past 11 matches.