PORTLAND, Ore. -- Real Salt Lake made a first-half goal by forward Robbie Findley stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night at Jeld-Wen Field in the second leg of Major League Soccer's Western Conference finals.
The win, following a 4-2 triumph over the Timbers at Salt Lake City on Nov. 10, moves RSL (17-10-8) into the MLS Cup at Sporting Kansas City on Dec. 7. Salt Lake advances to the Cup final for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Galaxy for the 2009 title.
Portland (14-6-15) outshot Salt Lake 16-7 and had two first-half goals waved off, but RSL's defense kept the Timbers at bay throughout most of the game.
Findley, who played collegiately at Oregon State, got the game's only goal in the 29th minute. He converted a rebound after a shot by midfielder Luis Gil from beyond the 18-yard box was batted away by Portland goalie Donovan Ricketts.
The Timbers seemed to answer moments later when Danso knocked in a rebound from close range, but the goal was nullified by an offside call.
Salt Lake also missed a great scoring chance in the fifth minute, as forward Devon Sandoval's header bounced over Ricketts and barely over the bar.
Portland apparently scored on a header by defenseman Mamadou Danso in the 15th minute, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul.
RSL played keep-away from the frustrated Timbers through much of the second half, protecting its lead with tactical play.
NOTES: Portland went 11-1-6 this year in games in which it scored the first goal. The only loss was in the 4-2 defeat at Salt Lake City in the first leg of the Western Conference championship series. The Timbers scored first, then surrendered four straight goals in that one. ... RSL has a 10-game undefeated streak in competition with Portland. The Timbers won the first meeting between the sides on April 30, 2011. Since then, RSL is 7-0-3, including an Open Cup match and both legs of the West final. ... The Timbers overcame two-goal deficits twice in the regular season, earning a 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls in the opener and a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids on March 30.