for this game

Ching's goal runs Dynamo's unbeaten streak to 11

Jun 21, 2009 - 4:35 AM By JEREMY RAKES STATS MLS Correspondent

HOUSTON (STATS) - The Houston Dynamo saw one streak end Saturday night, while another rolled on.

Despite having their five-game winning streak snapped, Houston (8-2-4) took sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake, extending its unbeaten streak to a team-record tying 11 games.

The Dynamo are 8-0-3 since a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on April 4.

Second-half substitute Brian Ching, who was seeing his first MLS action since injuring his hamstring during a game with the US National Team June 1, scored the tying goal off a header in the 89th minute.

Brian Mullan sent a ball from the right side into the middle of the goalkeeper's area, and a charging Ching did the rest with a perfect header from three yards out.

"Good fight. If you look, every single one of the guys that played 90 minutes played their hearts out," said Ching, who scored his fifth goal of the season. "They gave everything they could, and it is always hard to come back, especially considering the conditions here.

Real Salt Lake (4-6-4) earned the early advantage in the 28th minute on what appeared to be an own goal by Houston, but was given to RSL's Fabian Espindola. Yura Movsisyan gave Espindola a pass back to the right box, and Espindola sent a shot through the box that deflected off of Houston defender Bobby Boswell and into the left net.

RSL was disappointed with the tie, especially after playing a man down for the final 32 minutes after Jamison Olave was issued his second yellow card in the 58th minute for delaying a restart and coming within minutes of the win.

"I think it's somewhat bittersweet," said Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis. "I feel like we deserved three points tonight, and if we had been able to keep 11 players on the field, I am quite certain we would have come away with all three.

"Having said that with the circumstances, the heat, going down a man, the penalty kick, I think we have to be pleased with one point. One point to what's arguably the best team in the league at their place is also a successful result, if you look away from the fact that we had a lead tonight."

Salt Lake's goal came after referee Jair Marrufo called a water break in the 25th minute - something the Dynamo players and coaching staff initially thought was a joke.

Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said what frustrated him was that Salt Lake tried to slow the game down, but for the referee to stop the game completely, played to their tempo and how the game was being played.

"I didn't know there was going to be one, but in talking to Richard Mulrooney who was captain, tonight, the referee told him there was going to be a water break at 25 minutes and Richard thought he was joking," Kinnear said. "But he was serious, and we were all shaking our heads."

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando made three saves, including a stop on Brad Davis' penalty kick in the 73rd minute.

"There aren't a lot of people that come here and get a point, especially a man down," Rimando said. "We battled today and fought hard, and the outcome of one point is for sure keeping our heads up."