U.S. Major League Soccer's DC United and the English club, Tottenham Hotspur from London, have kicked off the inaugural Capital Cup event, a friendly international game between teams from different capital cities. DC United won the contest, 1-0, which was played in Washington.
The only score of the game Wednesday came on a defensive mistake. Tottenham defender Stephen Carr was credited with an own goal in the 30th minute.
He was between DC United forward Hristo Stoitchkov and his goalkeeper, American Kasey Keller. Stoitchkov lost control of the ball, and it glanced off Carr to slowly roll across the line out of Keller's reach. Keller says it was unfortunate.
"I would have easily had the ball. But, obviously, defenders are not going to just lift their foot and let it go from eight yards out," he said. "But that was a shame to have it kind of flick off one of our guys and trickle into the net, unfortunately."
Keller's return to U.S. soil was filled with shots, as DC United players kept their English guests on the defensive for much of a sluggish first half.
Play was more wide open in the second half. But the quicker pace still did not produce many chances for the crowd of more than 14,000 to get excited.
Robert Keane gave the Spurs the best opportunities for a score, including a wide shot in front of the net, going one-on-one with United keeper Nick Rimando in the 61st minute.
The game was just the second ever between the two clubs. DC United also won the first encounter last year in London. United's British-born coach, Ray Hudson, was very impressed by his team's performance against one of England's top clubs.
"It is a real feather in the lads' cap tonight, to beat them in London, and then to beat them again tonight when they had all their big boys. And I thought we earned the right to win," he said.
Before the game, DC United honored its former captain and U.S. national team member John Harkes, who recently retired. Harkes played as a midfielder in the game to officially close his playing career. He came out of the game in the 78th minute.