House Democrats just barely edged out their GOP counterparts Tuesday to clinch the 2nd Annual Capital Soccer Classic, a friendly contest that featured few score changes during regulation play but threatened to become a nail-biter toward the end.
The charity match, co-sponsored by the U.S. Soccer Foundation and POLITICO, brought together pols partial to spending time on the pitch, a roster which included North Carolina Democrat Mike McIntyre, Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen, Washington Republican Dave Reichert, California Democrat Eric Swalwell and Indian Republican Todd Young.
At the close of the 30-minute contest, Democrats were leading 4-1, thanks largely to the two goals Swalwell fired past the GOP-led squad.
Republicans, however, managed to make a game of it during the shoot-out phase, racking up five additional points that put pressure on Democrats to reply in kind.
The loose contingent of futbol fans sprinkled about the stands, naturally, ate up the pseudo-drama.
In the end, Democrats once again kicked things into high gear, putting enough balls into the net to walk away with their second consecutive win in as many years.
“We know this is just going to go back and forth,” Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen noted while clutching the ceremonial plaque.