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(Monday, March 12, 2012)
From The Sports Network
Final Score: Portland 3, Philadelphia 1
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers treated another sellout crowd at Jeld-Wen Field to the franchise's first-ever comeback win Monday.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Kris Boyd and Kalif Alhassan scored as Portland overcame a second-half deficit in a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer.
Portland failed to win a match when it trailed as an expansion team last year, but responded well after Gabriel Gomez scored early in the second half for the Union.
Rookie Jean-Baptiste, initially credited with an own goal on the Gomez strike, tied the match just 3 minutes after the first goal, legendary Scottish Premier League striker Boyd followed in the 66th, and Alhassan scored in the 76th.
Portland sold out all 17 matches last season and had a full house of 20,438 on hand for the clubs' season opener despite a steady driving rain.
After a scoreless first half void of any chances, Philadelphia's Carlos Valdes headed an Alhassan shot off the line 3 minutes after half and the Union scored the opener minutes later.
Gomez drove a free kick from 40 yards that sailed through traffic in the area, just missed Jean-Baptiste's head, and then went inside right post past Timbers goalie Troy Perkins in the 51st.
Jean-Baptiste soon made up for the goal, even though it was credited to Gomez, off a Jack Jewsbury assist. Jean-Baptiste headed into the lower-left corner in the 54th, and Portland never looked back.
Union goalie Zac MacMath was forced to make two saves in the 57th as Portland pushed for a second goal, but could not deny Boyd in the 66th. The all-time leading scorer in SPL history ran onto a cross from Alhassan on the near side and glanced a header inside the far post.
Boyd nearly had a second goal in his MLS debut, but Freddy Adu cleared a shot off the line in the 73rd to keep the Union in the match entering the final 15 minutes.
Alhassan ended Philadelphia's hopes soon after, though, as he accepted a short free kick from Jewsbury on the right, split two defenders and floated a cross into the box that went over MacMatch and into the top-left corner in the 76th.
Portland continued to control the match over the remainder of normal time and into stoppage time, as it sealed another home-opening win. The Timbers downed the Chicago Fire, 4-2, in their home opener last season.
Philadelphia will try to bounce back at PPL Park on Sunday at 4 p.m. (ET) when the Colorado Rapids visit. Portland will try to build on its win Saturday when it visits FC Dallas at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
03/13 00:17:46 ET