The first of 38 regular-season matches airing on NBC Sports Network in 2013 featured a rematch of Eastern Conference finalists DC United and the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. The two-time defending Eastern champs gave the more than 20,000 fans in attendance plenty to cheer about as they found two late goals to earn their first victory of the season 2-0.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall was largely a bystander like those thousands of fans, untested by United throughout the match and left to watch as the Dynamo pushed forward in unceasing waves of attack. But all that offense went for naught through the first eighty minutes of play, as DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid thwarted the home side time and time again.
The best first-half opportunity for both sides came in the waning minutes of the period. First, Houston earned a controversial penalty in the 40th minute as Ricardo Clark was pulled down by Chris Korb either just inside or just outside of the penalty area, based on the angle and the speed of the instant replay. But without replay in soccer, the referee’s eyes saw a challenge worthy of pointing to the spot.
Brad Davis stepped up for the kick, telegraphing his shot to the left; Hamid read the weak shot easily, but blocked the rebound directly into the path of Clark. He nabbed the rebound as well, and a few minutes later DC earned a free kick just outside the box. Stepping into the ball, Chris Pontius whipped a bender around the wall that caromed of the crossbar and into the stands.
Houston’s pressure would finally be rewarded in the 80th minute, as James Riley — tracking Clark on a corner kick taken by Davis — headed the ball past Hamid into his own goal. A minute from stoppage time, Clark finally nabbed his first goal of the season to ensure the victory, giving Houston the full three points from an effort that saw them dominate for most of the ninety minutes.
DC UNITED @ HOUSTON DYNAMO
BBVA Compass Stadium
March 2, 2013
- 80′ — HOU/James Riley (own goal)
- 89′ — HOU/Ricardo Clark (Warren Creavalle)
- HOU (4-2-3-1): Tally Hall; Corey Ashe, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Sarkodie; Ricardo Clark (Luiz Camargo/89′), Adam Moffat; Brad Davis (Walter Creavalle/85′), Giles Barnes (Brian Ching/87′), Oscar Boniek Garcia; Will Bruin
- DC (4-1-4-1): Bill Hamid; Daniel Woolard (James Riley/45′), Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, Chris Korb; Perry Kitchen; Chris Pontius, John Thorrington (Marcos Sanchez/73′), Marcelo Saragosa (Kyle Porter/83′), Nick DeLeon; Lionard Pajoy