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MLS: Portland Timbers 3 Philadelphia Union 1

SoccerNews in MLS 13 Mar 2012

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The Portland Timbers began their MLS campaign in style, coming from behind to beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Monday.

The first half was a scrappy affair with both sides looking to get stuck into challenges and adjusting to the wet artificial surface at a rainy JELD-WEN Field.

Play opened up in the second half, however, as Union took the lead six minutes after the break when Gabriel Gomez – on debut for his new club – scored from a free-kick, which took a slight deflection off Andrew Jean-Baptiste past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

But the visitors’ lead lasted just three minutes as teenage defender Jean-Baptiste equalised for Portland with a header from a Jack Jewsbury free-kick.

Ten minutes later and the home side was in front, thanks to off-season signing Kris Boyd.

The Scotland international struck for the Timbers on 66 minutes, nodding past Union custodian Zac MacMath to become the third club debutant to score in the contest.

The win was sealed in the 76th minute when Ghanaian midfielder Khalif Alhassan chipped what appeared to be a cross into the box, only to see it float over MacMath and into the far post, giving his team a 3-1 lead.

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