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  • 4 March 2013
  • • 11:52
  • • Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
  • Referee: J. Marrufo
  • • Attendance: 20674
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Portland Timbers 3-3 New York Red Bulls: Thrilling opening draw

Portland Timbers 3-3 New York Red Bulls: Thrilling opening draw

Steve Dykes

Six goals split evenly saw Portland and New York walk away with a share of the spoils from the opening game of the season.

Portland and New York split six goals and several defensive blunders to walk away with a 3-3 draw as each team opened their 2013 MLS seasons.

Former Real Salt Lake players Fabián Espíndola and Jámison Olave had New York up 3-1 before halftime, with Espíndola opening the scoring in just the ninth minute. A blunder from Mikaël Silvestre, his first on the night, paved the way for Espíndola to tap home after what looked like a back pass from the defender to goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts handcuffed the Jamaican and left the goal gaping.

New Portland signing Diego Valeri pulled his club back level five minutes later with a brilliantly taken goal, playing a one-two and tapping the ball to himself before taking it off his chest and finishing with the outside of his foot all in one fluid motion.

New York was back in front 10 minutes later however, and once again Silvestre played a big part. The French defender failed to control a seemingly harmless ball forward and Espíndola took full advantage, surging past him and slotting home his second of the night.

Olave got in on the act five minutes later, tapping home a cross from Heath Pearce to give New York what looked like a commanding lead.

But New York did what New York does, and the lead would slip away in the second half. Valeri's pounded shot in the 56th minute rebounded nicely for Darlington Nagbe to tap home, starting the rally. Then, with time winding down, a series of dangerous balls ended up with Jose Valencia's shot coming off of Olave and ending up in the New York net.

Despite a late push, Portland couldn't finish off the comeback with a win and had to settle for a thrilling draw to open the season.

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