Portland Timbers Win Opener, Take Down Philadelphia Union 3-1

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The Philadelphia Union survived for an hour in front of the wild Portland Timbers Army, but that was all they could muster in the rain. The Timbers raced past the Union with three goals in the final 35 minutes to win 3-1 Monday night.

Philadelphia did a great job of containing the midfield in the opening half and along with the poor weather conditions they held the home side in check. The match went scoreless to the break, but goals would come after. The Union shocked the crowd and opened the scoring in the 51st minute on a freekick from newcomer Gabriel Gomez.

Portland leaped into action after falling behind and the rest of the match was basically one way traffic as they overwhelmed Philadelphia. Three minutes later, rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste equalized for Portland when Philly’s young keeper Zac MacMath fumbled his header into the net.

The goal sent the crowd crazy and the Timbers went wild. Then Portland’s more well-known newcomer took center stage. Kris Boyd gave the Timbers the lead in the 66th minute. Alhassan, who was active all night, popped a cross into the center and Boyd ingeniously flicked it into the far side netting.

Midfielder Kalif Alhassan sealed the result in the 76th minute with his first MLS goal. It would be hard to argue against a better home environment in MLS.  Even Seattle will have trouble rivaling the Portland atmosphere.

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