It took 18 hours but the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas finally returned to MLS play after a three week World Cup break. After an initial weather delay just minutes before kickoff stalled the start time, the game was postponed due to lightning striking a fan who remains hospitalized.
The teams took to the pitch under unusual circumstances and the match reflected that as the two sides battled to a scoreless draw in front of the 4,680 fans who returned after a standing room only crowd was on hand the previous night.
The match began with the Crew possessing the ball and controlling the game.
This control almost led to an early breakthrough for the Black and Gold. After just seven minutes, attacking midfielder Ben Speas switched the point attack, finding Jairo Arrieta. The forward's touch went to winger Hector Jimenez in behind the Dallas defense, but his low attempt was saved by goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Six minutes later, FCD came close to open the scoring when a misjudged cross by Clark fell to the foot of Michel. His shot was right into the chest of defender Michael Parkhurst, who had recovered to the goal line.
The game entered a period of back-and-forth action, as two minutes later on the other end, Just Meram fired a curling shot from the corner of the of the penalty area that had Seitz beat but just missed the mark.
In the 22nd minute, it was Dallas' turn to miss an opportunity when forward Andres Escobar unleashed a shot from the top of Columbus' box, but his attempt didn't bother Clark, flying over the crossbar.
Just a minute later, the men from North Texas had another golden opportunity to go up by a goal. Je-Vaughn Watson beat right back Chad Barson to the end line and delivered a low cross back into the box. Forward Tesho Akindele saw his one-time effort go wide and the game remained scoreless.
In the 26th, the action shifted back to the Crew attacking end. After a throw-in, Jimenez's cross was volleyed by Bernardo Anor, who nearly gave the Black and Gold the lead but instead saw his shot miss just wide.
Columbus had one more chance before the break to take the lead when midfielder Wil Trapp found Jimenez with a through ball in the box. Jimenez was able to control the ball but was unable to get around Seitz who cut down the angle well and kept the game scoreless.
The second half saw both teams slow down, as the heat and possibly the emotions from the night before began to take hold.
In the 52nd minute, Escobar took off on a run down the left side of the field, running through a tackle by Barson and beating defender Eric Gehrig. His low cross should have been easily finished into the open net by Akindele, but the forward struck it off the far post.
In the 59th minute, Akindele had another chance for his second goal of the season, this time coming from Dallas' right-hand side. Watson delivered a cross in that found his forward target, but Akindele couldn't put it on frame, missing high.
The final dangerous opportunity of the game came for Columbus in the 84th minute. Federico Higuain - a second half substitute returning from a hamstring injury - played a simple square ball to new acquisition Alvaro Rey who flicked it over the Dallas defense to Arrieta.
The forwards one-time attempt was blocked by two sliding FCD players, who remained down after the collision. Arrieta recollected the ball and fired a second shot, but his effort - which likely would have beaten Seitz - hit the side netting.
After three minutes of stoppage time, the two teams that have gotten used to ties settled for a point a piece.
The Crew take to the road for their next game with a rare Friday encounter with the Colorado Rapids on July 4.