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Stephen Brashear, Associated Press
Real Salt Lake's Tony Beltran, left, battles for the ball with Sounders' David Estrada during the first half of play in a MLS soccer match, Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Seattle.

Read more:Complete Deseret News coverage of game

SEATTLE (AP) — Fabian Espindola scored in the 51st minute and Real Salt Lake beat the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday night in a showdown for the Western Conference lead.

Salt Lake improved to 8-3-2, dropping Seattle to 7-2-1 and snapping the Sounders' franchise record-tying winning streak at five games in front of a season-high crowd of 39,312 — the third largest in Seattle MLS history. Seattle, coming off three consecutive shutouts, could have moved into first place with a victory.

Espindola scored on a left-footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. He returned after missing a 0-0 draw with Chicago on Wednesday night following the birth of his son.

RSL improved to 3-0-2 over the last five matches. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando didn't have to make any saves after missing the game against Chicago because of a shoulder injury.

Real Salt Lake outshot the Sounders 10-8.