MLS: Real Salt Lake 4, Portland 2

Aug. 31, 2013 at 1:12 AM

SANDY, Utah, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Joao Plata had a goal and two assists Friday to send Real Salt Lake storming to a 4-2 decision over Portland.

Portland played a man short during the entire second half, making it easy for Salt Lake to increase its lead in the Western Conference.

Salt Lake (14-8-6) won for the third time in five matches and boosted its advantage over Los Angeles to eight points.

Portland was already facing a 2-1 deficit when Ben Zemanski was sent off at the end of the first half with a direct red card.

Plata scored in the 15th minute to give Salt Lake a 2-0 lead. He assisted on a goal by Luis Gill in the ninth minute and Javier Morales shortly after halftime.

Portland (9-5-12) has earned just one point in its last seven games and is in fourth place in the West.

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