While England and Spain played on Saturday at Wembley Stadium in their UEFA Nations League opener, their respective all-time leading scorers, Wayne Rooney (53 goals) and David Villa
(59), met for the first when Rooney's D.C. United traveled to Yankee Stadium, where it faced Villa's NYCFC.
NYCFC finished with a 31-2 edge in shots, but the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Rooney and Villa were involved in the game's two goals, both scored from
Rooney set up Steve Birnbaum for the opening goal on a header in the 58th minute. United was three minutes away from getting out of the Bronx with a win when Villa beat
keeper Bill Hamid on a curling free kick to even the score at 1-1.
“Obviously, it feels like a bit of a loss at the moment, after conceding the late goal," said Rooney. "We
wanted to win the game, but the way the game went we ended up defending a lot more than we wanted. The defense was brilliant tonight. Unfortunately we conceded the goal, but a point overall away from
home is a good point.”
The point moved D.C. United to within two points of seventh-place New England with a game in hand and five points of sixth-place Montreal with two games in
hand in the battle for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Most important, United plays seven of its finish games at its new Audi Field.