After nearly three hours of weather delays, it would have been entirely understandable if the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo battled to a lethargic scoreless draw. However, Jay Heaps' men had other things in mind as the match carried into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Tyler Deric, who made four stalwart saves on the evening, and Foxboro's attempts to play both teams off the pitch through lightning and driving rain, the Revs managed to find a way.
Their persistence first took the form of a Jose Goncalves strike in the 69th minute, who quipped post-game that the match carried past his bed time. The center-back found himself wide open on the back post, and managed to finish off Lee Nguyen's deflected service with aplomb when he volleyed past Deric.
"Everyone was pretty focused on the ball and the ball came not so far from the penalty spot, so I thought I'm going to wait on the second post in case the ball drops and that's what happened," Goncalves said. "The ball came great and I took my chance for the volley and it was slippery. There was no way the 'keeper could stop it after I caught the ball very well."
Inspired by Goncalves' strike, the Revs continued to probe for an insurance tally and saw their efforts rewarded through the combined work of Nguyen and Juan Agudelo. The former drove at the heart of the Dynamo defense, threaded a cushioned pass into the path of Agudelo, and the striker made no mistake as he slotted inside the near post.
For Nguyen and the rest of the Revolution side, both goals were literal hours of hard work paying off. After needing to stay lose in the locker room, warm up multiple times, and keep an eye on the doppler radar, they powered on.
"We were hoping it wasn't going to be one of those nights where we kept putting pressure and not getting anything from it," Nguyen said. "We kept pushing, we kept pushing, and we got Jose to give us a break there. Juan made a great run to follow up my pass to make it 2-0 and give us a little cushion. "
With everything considered, there were many variables stacked up against the Revolution on Saturday evening and the early hours of Sunday morning. It would have been easy to make up excuses or find a reason to give up, but that isn't a part of the Revs' DNA.
They carried on despite the unusual circumstances, found inspiration, and got the job done.