Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake punched its ticket to its second MLS Cup in five years by earning a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field on Sunday.
The Claret and Cobalt hoisted the Philip F. Anschutz trophy in 2009 by topping the Los Angeles Galaxy on penalties in their first-ever MLS Cup appearance, and Robbie Findley granted the club an opportunity to repeat that feat by nabbing the lone goal of the club's Western Conference second leg.
Real Salt Lake was in the driver's seat after running out to a 4-2 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium in the opening leg, but the visitors effectively cemented their place in the title match when Findley broke the deadlock in the 29th minute of play.
Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who had performed so admirably for the club all season, shouldered much of the blame for the goal as he parried a shot from Luis Gil directly into the path of Findley, who followed up on the shot to slam home the rebound from close range.
It proved to be all Salt Lake would need as Nick Rimando and his back-line kept a clean sheet to advance to MLS Cup on the back of a stout defensive performance.
Real Salt Lake will take on Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park on Dec. 7 in the MLS finale.