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Cristian Techera bags hat trick as Revolution, Whitecaps play to 3-3 draw

The New England Revolution and Vancouver Whitecaps could not slow one another down Saturday afternoon.

Both settled for a 3-3 draw at BC Place in a wide open, end-to-end thriller that offered few breaks. New England (5-4-3, 18 points) opened the scoring in the 26th minute thanks to an own goal by Vancouver’s Aly Ghazal, who errantly redirected a cross from Cristian Penilla past Whitecaps (4-5-5, 17 points) goalkeeper Brian Rowe.

From there, it got crazy.

The second half featured five goals – including four between the 48th and 59th minutes – plus a hat trick by Vancouver midfielder Cristian Techera.

New England made it 2-0 first, as Penilla stripped Vancouver defender Sean Franklin on a fast break started by Diego Fagundez, then slotted the ball into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.

The Whitecaps responded quickly. Seconds after Penilla doubled the Revs’ advantage, Techera scored the first of his three goals, neatly volleying a cross from the left flank by Marcel de Jong past New England goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Techera showed up in the Revolution penalty area again moments later. In the 59th minute, he crashed into the box to head a cross from Russell Teibert. Turner tipped the initial header, but Techera followed through and buried the rebound to make it 2-2.

May 26, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kei Kamara (23) shoots the ball against New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner (30) during the first half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Teal Bunbury restored New England’s lead with his sixth goal of the season in the 59th minute, poking in a feed from Diego Fagundez into the back of the net.

“It really was a wild game,” Bunbury said. “Two good teams out there battling. A lot of opportunities created. Getting a draw on the road is great, but we’ll be a little bit disappointed because we thought we should have been able to get three points.”

Techera’s third came via counterattack in the 81st minute, slotting in the equalizer off a looping cross by Yordy Reyna.

Saturday’s game featured a number of wild misses and near-goals, too.

Kei Kamara, who was traded to Vancouver from New England in the offseason, had a point-blank bid stopped by Turner inside the first minute. Kamara missed a wide open net in the 68th minute, his sliding effort rolling harmlessly wide of the target and toward the sidelines.

Felipe also headed a cross from Techera off the near post in the 81st minute.

“There was a couple moments there were it maybe could have gotten out of hand and we could have let it slip away,” Bunbury added. “But, we got a point on the road, so that’s good to start this next stretch of a lot of games in so little days.”

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