Alvaro Saborio scored from 10 yards away early in the 56th minute, and a rare gaffe by Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller resulted in an own goal as Real Salt Lake hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Salt Lake (13-7-6) won its third in a row. The Sounders (13-6-9) had a four-game unbeaten streak halted.
Saborio set up his own game-winner when he picked up a loose ball in the penalty area, deked around Sounders defender Tyson Wahl and, from an angle to the right, and beat Keller to the back left corner.
"I just had to control the ball and kick it," said Saborio, who scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year. "We were hoping for the win, and we have to continue like that."
At the outset of the 13th minute, Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola sent a ball from the top left corner of the box toward the far post. Keller appeared to grab it at the post with Kyle Beckerman right there, and then lose his grip on it. He said afterward what he was really trying to do was knock the ball out of danger, but instead sent it trickling into the back right corner.
"It was a good cross into the box, and I scrambled to get it, and it kind of chucked off the turf a little bit," Keller said. "I didn't want to leave a rebound out in the middle, so I tried to hook it out for a corner and just got too much on it and ended up hooking it into my own net. Simple at that — it was my fault."
Mauro Rosales could have tied it for Seattle just 4 minutes later, but sent a penalty kick barely wide left. That was the the third time on eight attempts that the Sounders have missed from the spot this season.
Fredy Montero did tie it with about 30 seconds remaining in first-half stoppage time with a blast from the top of the 6-yard box past Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Midway through the 69th minute, Rimando helped preserve Real Salt Lake's lead when he literally put his face in front of a hard shot by Seattle's Tyson Wahl that was taken from 12 yards straight in front of the net.
"Those are the ones you don't expect to make, and you don't train for them," Rimando said. "When they happen, you don't want them to go in the back of the net. But the guys kept on playing, so I saved it with my face."
Both teams finished with 10 men after each side had a player sent off by referee Mark Kadlecik midway through the first half — Tony Beltran of RSL on his second yellow of the game, and Seattle's Jhon Kennedy Hurtado less than 4 minutes later on a straight red for a hard tackle.
"I'm proud of the fact that they stuck together and kept working extremely hard and stayed disciplined through some pretty interesting decisions in the first half and some dire circumstances," Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said. "In two of the past three matches, we've had a player ejected early in the match and the group has stayed very resilient."
Sounders oach Sigi Schmid felt his team should have garnered at least a point instead of going away empty.
"Sometimes, games go like this," he said. "In the first half especially and some in the second half, I thought we had some in the second half, there were some good moments where we got in and created some chances, where we got behind them on the flanks, which is exactly what we talked about. But at the end of the day, we couldn't convert."
Between the ninth and 11th minutes, thousands of the 35,940 fans at Century Link Field waved miniature American flags in recognition of Sunday's 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.