SANDY, Utah (AP) – Alvaro Saborio scored three second-half goals to help Real Salt Lake earn a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
RSL (11-6-3) snapped a four-game winless streak. Salt Lake also snapped a three-game winless streak at its home stadium. Portland (5-8-4) lost its third straight road game and is still winless away from home this season.
Saborio broke a prolonged scoring drought for RSL in the 60th minute. Luis Gil crossed the ball up top to Kyle Beckerman. Then Beckerman floated a pass down to Saborio in the center of the box. Saborio headed in the ball to make it 1-0.
He came up with an even better goal two minutes later. Chris Wingert fired a pass deep into the center of the box. Saborio met the ball on the run and headed it past Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins to lift Salt Lake to a 2-0 advantage.
Saborio added to his tally when he converted a penalty kick following a handball call on Diego Chara to make 3-0 in the 75th minute.
Before Saborio's hat trick, RSL had gone 249 minutes without scoring a goal. He became just the third player in Salt Lake history to notch a hat trick in a game.
Salt Lake could not end its offensive drought before halftime, even though the team dominated possession and had a few shots at the goal. Finishing those shots proved problematic.
The best first-half scoring chance for Real came when Saborio pulled the trigger in the 18th minute and fired it down the center of the box. Saborio's shot never reached its intended target because teammate Paulo, Jr. accidentally deflected the ball away.
Portland fared no better. The Timbers did not generate a single shot on goal in the first half and had only four shots total in that span.