for this game

Dynamo, FC Dallas battle to scoreless draw

Jul 1, 2007 - 2:19 AM FRISCO, Texas (Ticker) -- With a chance to gain ground in the Western Conference standings, the Houston Dynamo battled to a 0-0 draw against FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Houston entered the match three points behind Dallas, which has not fared well against its intrastate rivals, losing four of the last seven matchups.

In their first meeting this season, the Dynamo came away with an impressive 2-1 triumph at home on June 3 as Ricardo Clark and Joseph Ngwenya each scored second-half goals.

"(Saturday) would have been a great day to pull even with them," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said. "But it was also nice that (FC Dallas) didn't get the win and pull six points ahead of us. We're getting close, but they're grinding out results, too. It's looking a lot like last year."

Houston (7-5-2) has been red-hot this month, going undefeated in its six contests, including a five-game winning streak in which it outscored its opponents by an 11-5 margin.

In the 15th minute of this one, Dominic Oduro raced into the box and got off a shot from 15 yards out on the right side, but Dynamo goalkeeper Zach Wells was able to make the save.

Wells also made a stellar stop on Arturo Alvarez's free kick into the box from 35 yards away. Making just his third start of the season, Wells finished with three saves on 14 shot attempts by FC Dallas (8-6-2).

"Our back four did a great job, especially against Carlos Ruiz," Wells said. "Ruiz is always a handful and he and Eddie (Robinson) always battle pretty well. And with the speed of Oduro and the craftiness of Alvarez, they are always a handful for our back four. We did a good job of shutting them down."

Wells was placed in the rotation during pre-game warmups after starting netminder Pat Onstad, who has three shutouts this season, tweaked his back.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala was just an impressive in net, collecting three saves on eight shots. Sala improved to 20-13-2 since signing with the club in September 2005.

"The game was a fine one for me because they (Houston) are the second place team, but they also have a great team," Sala said. "We respect that, but we also wanted to win the rematch. They won in Houston, so we wanted to win this one at home. Unfortunately, the heat was terrible. We both had our chances, but the heat was terrible for everybody."

Sala came up with his most important save in the 65th minute, when he stoned Ngwenya's 10-yard shot.

In the 55th minute, Alvarez maneuvered past Houston's Dwayne DeRosario and Craig Waibel, but missed wide of the right post. Alvarez also missed wide left in the 84th minute.

Despite his team's inability to get on the scoreboard, FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow said his team came up with a dominant performance.

"I felt over the 90 minutes, we were probably the better team," Morrow said. "We looked a little more threatening throughout the game and looked like the team more likely to score a goal. It was a tight game with a lot of commitment - two good teams going at it. I'm pleased with the clean sheet, but the boys are a little disappointed we didn't come away with the three points."