The Houston Dynamo opened the 2013 season with a 2-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. An own goal from United defender James Riley gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead before Ricardo Clark sealed the win with a late goal.
The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 26 regular season games (30 games in all competitions), the second-longest streak in league history.
Houston controlled the opening half and had several chances to score. Brad Davis took a penalty after Clark was taken down in the box, but United goalkeeper Bill Hamid stopped Davis penalty attempt with a dive to his right.
Four minutes later a Davis corner kick was met with a strong header from Will Bruin, but his shot was cleared off the line by United defender Chris Korb. The rebound fell to Giles Barnes, who cracked a shot from eight yards but Hamid made another great save to keep the game scoreless.
The game remained 0-0 into the 80th minute, when Davis drove a corner kick toward the penalty spot and Clark gained position on Riley, who then accidentally headed the cross into his own net for a 1-0 Dynamo lead.
Houston doubled its lead in the 89th minute on a goal created by substitute Warren Creavalle. Just four minutes after entering the game, Creavalle drove past a defender and down the end line toward the near post before spotting Clark at the edge of the six-yard box. Creavalle played the ball to Clark, who took a touch and then ripped a shot into the far-side of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
It was Clarks ninth regular season goal with the Dynamo. He is now tied with Bobby Boswell and Brian Mullan for ninth on franchise list.
Tonights game between Houston and D.C. was a rematch of the Eastern Conference Championship last November, when the Dynamo earned a 4-2 series win to advance to MLS Cup.
The Dynamo are now 8-0-1 in regular season home games against D.C., outscoring United 19-4.
Tally Hall kept a clean sheet to earn his 20th career regular season shutout.
It was Clarks 146th appearances with Dynamo in all competitions. He is now tied for seventh on the franchise list with Geoff Cameron.
It Corey Ashes 140th career start in all competitions for the Dynamo to pass Wade Barrett for seventh on franchise list.
The Dynamo will host Santos Laguna of Mexico on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal series. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium and tickets are still available at HoustonDynamo.com.