for this game

FC Dallas, Houston play to third draw of season

Jun 27, 2008 - 4:40 AM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- For the third time this season, the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas played to a tie.

Kenny Cooper scored the tying goal in the 62nd minute, helping FC Dallas play to a 1-1 draw with Houston.

Brian Ching put the Dynamo (4-4-7) on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when Craig Waibel gave him a cross from the right sideline into the right goalkeeper's area. Ching headed the pass into the left net for his sixth goal in seven games.

It was Waibel's first assist since the 2007 MLS Cup Championship game against New England.

After jumping out to the early lead, Houston was disappointed to finish with tie, and Ching let his frustration with the defense show after the game.

"Sure, we are disappointed," Ching said. "You look at our team and what has made us successful the past couple of years - it's defense. We have been one of the best defensive, if not, the best defensive team in the league.

"But now we've got guys letting in mistakes; they are making big mistakes and costing us games. It's the same guys costing us three, four games, so it's disappointing."

FC Dallas (4-6-5) leveled the contest in the 62nd minute on a header by Cooper. Juan Toja crossed a pass to Cooper from outside the upper left box that Cooper headed in from the middle of the box into the right net.

"We made a tactical change at halftime," Cooper said. "(Coach) Schellas Hyndman saw the changes (that needed to be made) in the first half and told us to be more assertive. We were fortunate to have Juan make some quality moves in order for me to be in position to score.

"We knew this was going to be a 90-plus minute battle tonight, with them being the league champs, we just needed to keep our composure coming out in the second half."

The two previous meetings between the two teams ended in ties as well. The teams played a 3-3 draw in April in Houston and a 2-2 tie in May in Dallas.

The rivalry between the two teams has been heated and physical. This match featured 27 total fouls and four yellow cards, with FC Dallas leading the way in both categories, being whistled for 15 fouls and three yellow cards.

"This was a hard game and a sour point for us," Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I think we played a solid game.

"We had more than enough chances in the first 45 minutes of the game to possibly put the game out of reach. We created good situations and good chances. But we got a tie out of it and I think the guys are really disappointed, as we should be."

With the tie, FC Dallas remained winless here, falling to 0-6-2 all-time in Houston.

"The guys in this locker room feel that they came away feeling like they accomplished something, tying this team - which won the last two MLS titles - three times this season, tells you how this team is built mentally," Hyndman said.