The New England Revolution had a couple of chances but conceded the majority of the possession to the Houston Dynamo as pouring rain contributed to an ugly half at BBVA Compass Stadium. Despite having less possession, the Revs actually had the better of the chances but were unable to capitalize.
It took almost twenty minutes for a clear chance to present itself on the rain-soaked pitch, torn up as it was by a recent football game. In the 18th minute, Jerry Bengtson earned a foul about 22 yards from goal. Benny Feilhaber stepped up to take the free kick and put it on frame in the near post top corner with an excellent shot, but Tally Hall was equal to it and punched over.
The ensuing corner became a snafu when the Dynamo clearance was crossed back in for Dimitry Imbongo at the far post. The striker's drilled cross found Darrius Barnes all alone in front of what was essentially an open net, but the defender's touch deserted him and he somehow sent it well wide of goal to be cleared.
Fernando Cardenas played in Imbongo in the 27th minute, but the French striker's effort from distance was saved well by Hall, though Imbongo had the right idea by hitting a low, skipping shot given the conditions. Houston's first clear chance came two minutes later when Calen Carr forced a save out of Bobby Shuttleworth with a low shot from just outside the box.
Just a minute after that, Imbongo rounded Hall to create a great chance for the Revolution, but he found himself dealing with a tight angle. By the time he chose to cross, the Dynamo defense had gotten back in time to clear the ball. Clyde Simms volleyed in after the clearance, but it was right at Hall and saved.
Bobby Shuttleworth nearly gifted the Dynamo the match's first goal in the 35th minute when his low clearance was intercepted by Ricardo Clark, but the midfield destroyer's shot flashed wide of the far post. Stephen McCarthy nearly snatched the leading goal in the 36th minute when he got up to head a free kick toward goal, but it flashed over the crossbar.