Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake netted a pair of quick second- half goals and held on to close out its regular season with a nervy 2-1 victory over Chivas USA on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Having already clinched a spot in the postseason, RSL still had plenty to play for as they are still alive to capture the Supporters' Shield, but will need some help from other results this weekend in order to claim the league's best record.
Both teams created ample scoring chances over a scoreless 45 minutes, but the home side broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when a chipped ball by Joao Plata inside the penalty area struck the arm of Chivas defender Mario de Luna, resulting in a spot kick.
Alvaro Saborio stepped up and fired it into the bottom right corner of the net for his 12th goal of the season.
The hosts then made it 2-0 just three minutes later when Plata ran onto a loose ball just outside the penalty area and beat Chivas goalkeeper Tim Melia to the bottom left corner with a fierce right-footed strike.
The Goats pulled one back 13 minutes from time as Julio Morales got behind the RSL defense via an aerial pass from Carlo Chueca and slotted it past RSL 'keeper Nick Rimando.
Chivas sent numbers forward in attack over the final minutes looking to steal an equalizer, but the home side's backline held firm to collect three points and jump ahead of the Portland Timbers for first place in the Western Conference on 56 points.
The Goats remain on the bottom of the West with 26 points and will close out their regular season on Saturday against the Timbers at StubHub Center.