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Maximiliano Urruti scores winning goal, Portland Timbers beat FC Dallas 3-1 in MLS

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PORTLAND, Oregon — Maximiliano Urruti scored the winning goal for the Portland Timbers as they defeated FC Dallas 3-1 on Saturday night.

The win is the first of the season for Portland (1-1-3), while Dallas (3-1-1) lost its first.

For the third consecutive season, the Timbers have struggled to start the season. Winless in March since 2012, coach Caleb Porter is happy April has arrived and his team is back on the winning track.

"Feels good. Feels really good. We're off and running now," said Porter. "The weight's lifted. We'll play even better now."

On a night celebrating him, with fans given cutouts of his head — and beard — on a stick, Nat Borchers opened his account with his new team in surprisingly easy fashion in the 23rd minute. Off a corner kick, the defender found himself unguarded six yards from goal, allowing him to measure his shot and drive a header into the ground and past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

When asked which he found more unusual, scoring or seeing his face throughout the crowd, Borchers couldn't decide.

PHOTO: FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman (25) ends up on the field as Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi eyes the ball during an MLS soccer game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Portland, Ore. The Timbers won 3-1. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Thomas Boyd)
FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman (25) ends up on the field as Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi eyes the ball during an MLS soccer game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Portland, Ore. The Timbers won 3-1. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Thomas Boyd)

"Both were pretty surreal. I don't get to score too often, so getting to score was fun," said the defender, who played for Real Salt Lake the past seven seasons. "Kinda get that weight off of our shoulders. And getting to see a bunch of 'Nat's beard' photobombs in the crowd was kinda surreal as well."

The visitors responded 7 minutes later, off a corner kick of their own. Atiba Harris rose highest to head the ball into the path of a running Tesho Akindele, whose momentum knocked to ball into the net to tie the game. It's Akindele's second goal of the season.

The Timbers retook the lead in the 62nd minute. Substitute Dairon Asprilla drove a cross from the right wing toward goal, where Urruti was able to stab his foot out and knock the ball past Seitz and into the roof of the net.

Diego Chara put the game out of reach with four minutes remaining. Fanendo Adi poked a pass behind the Dallas defense, allowing Chara to race onto the ball and roll a shot past Seitz to settle matters.

The three goals doubles Portland's output for the season. With last season's leading scorer Diego Valeri still recovering from a knee injury, Porter hopes to continue finding goals from multiple sources.

"Three different goals in three different ways. And three different guys and that's great to see. With Valeri out, we're going to need that. We're going to do it by committee."

FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja didn't think the final score reflected his team's performance.

"I thought we played very well, and sometimes the team that plays the best doesn't get the points," said Pareja. "I'm very proud of the players today."

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