Portland Timbers win their season opener

by Melanie Davis
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Kalif Alhasan
Galo Legarda El Hispanic News Portland, OR — In a match with two completely different halves, the Portland Timbers treated their fans to a win in their first home game by a final score of 3-1 against the Philadelphia Union. The first half brought no luck for the Timbers, who had most of the scoring chances, but no luck in the final touch. The Union scored the first goal by Gabriel Gómez at the 51st minute in a long-distance free kick. The ball was lofted to the center of the 18-yard box but it skimmed off Timbers’ defender head, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, and ended at the back of the net. The visiting team’s happiness did not last long. Jean-Baptiste scored with a header on a Jack Jewsbury free kick at the 54th minute. This goal gave the Timbers the drive to pursue the win. The goal that tipped the balance to the Timbers favor came at the 66th minute by their newly signed designated player, Kris Boyd. Kalif Alhassan received a long pass by the right wing and gave a precise loft pass to Boyd, who headed the ball over and to the far post of Union’s goalkeeper for the 2-1. At the 76th minute, Alhassan scored the finishing goal. Alhassan dribbled by two defenders and lofted a pass/shot that sent the ball into the net. The ball went over defenders, forwards, and goalkeeper, giving the Timbers the 3-1 final. The torrential rain that poured over Jeld-Wen Field did not stop Timbers’ fans from cheering their team throughout the 90 minutes. The attendance to the stadium was 20,438, giving the Timbers a complete sellout in their 2012 season opener. The head coach for the Timbers, Jon Spencer, said he was pleased to have won their first match at home. “I think that [in the] second half particularly we played very well,†Spencer said. “You never get a bad felling when you win games at Jeld-Wen Field.†The next match for the Timbers is Saturday, March 17, when they will visit FC Dallas.