SEATTLE — Real Salt Lake poured everything it had into getting a result at first-place Seattle Friday night.

In the end, though, the club came up one minute short.

Nearing the end of stoppage time, RSL seemed poised to overcome a desperation red card by Nat Borchers in the 68th minute and earn a point against the Sounders.

Seattle substitute Andy Rose had other ideas.

After the Sounders hoofed the ball into the 18-yard box in the 94th minute, it fell at the feet of Rose on the right side of the box.

The substitute left no doubt, blasting the ball past three RSL defenders and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, lifting Seattle to a 3-2 win and sparking a huge celebration from most of the 38,976 fans inside CenturyLink Field.

"In the end," said RSL star midfielder Javier Morales, "we get nothing."

The result leaves Real Salt Lake eight points behind Seattle in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings, virtually eliminating the club from top-of-the-table contention.

Afterward, RSL coach Jeff Cassar praised his players for their effort amid difficult conditions and said he believed Seattle committed an infraction on the sequence that led to Rose's game-winning goal.

"I think there's a foul that happens in the middle of the box on that play when you rewatch it," said Cassar. "They crashed the ball, but when you crash the box and you don't get the ball and you take out our players, I think that's a foul."

With six matches to play, Salt Lake will turn its attention to finishing in at least third place and thereby earn a spot in the semifinal round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Down 2-1 at halftime, Joao Plata's RSL-leading 12th goal of the season levelled the match in the 49th minute.

After Plata's strike — the result of a big deflection — RSL largely kept Seattle at bay and seemed poised to go for the win when Cassar brought on striker Alvaro Saborio in the 68th minute.

In the same minute, however, Borchers was dismissed for a foul against Seattle striker Obafemi Martins at the top of the box. Martins got in behind RSL’s back line, and Borchers made contact with the striker with his left arm. Referee Kevin Scott showed no hesitation in showing Borchers a red card, and suddenly RSL was in survival mode just to earn a point.

Afterward, Borchers gave a very honest opinion about his red card.

"(Martins) obviously had position. He's in alone on goal, and it's a split-second decision," Borchers said. "We're tied 2-2 at the time, and I definitely got him. It's a red card.

"But then I think to myself, 'Matt Besler (of Kansas City) does the same thing last week and doesn't even get a yellow card.' So obviously at the time I thought it was the right decision to make, and I was just hoping we could get out of here with a point, at least."

RSL nearly got there but came up heartbreakingly short.

To be sure, Friday night’s encounter between two of the Western Conference’s perennial contenders was a seesaw affair.

Things started off very nicely for Real Salt Lake.

With fellow RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland holding the ball near the end line on the right side in the 30th minute, Morales ghosted completely unmarked into the 18-yard box. Mulholland picked out the veteran with a pass on the ground, and Morales sent a perfectly placed shot beyond Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei and into the lower-left corner of the goal.

Incredibly, it was Morales’ first goal in 916 career minutes against Seattle, and it gave RSL a huge 1-0 advantage.

The lead didn’t last very long, however.

Rimando denied Martins with a tremendous save five minutes later, but MLS’ all-time leading shutout leader could do nothing about Lamar Neagle’s long-distance shot shortly after.

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After receiving the ball from Sounders fullback DeAndre Yedlin in the 38th minute, Neagle cut around RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman and blasted a rocket into the upper-right corner.

Seattle’s crowd erupted when the ball ripped the net, and things got even better for the Sounders four minutes later.

Martins got in behind RSL’s back line, and he put enough on his shot to send it off the hands of Rimando and into the net.

ENDLINES: RSL newcomer Sebastian Jaime didn’t make the trip with the club to Seattle. The designated player’s partner gave birth to twins Wednesday morning. … Seattle earned a 2-1 win in the season series between the two clubs. The Sounders won both matches in Seattle, while RSL won the lone game at Rio Tinto Stadium. ... Real Salt Lake now returns home to face rival Colorado next Friday in another late-night NBC Sports appearance.

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