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Busch, Fire battle Earthquakes to scoreless draw

Jun 29, 2008 - 4:07 AM BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (Ticker) -- Jon Busch posted his fifth shutout of the season, but the Chicago Fire extended their winless streak to four games with a 0-0 tie against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Busch, who leads MLS with a 0.85 goals-against average, needed just one save to record his 31st career blanking as the Fire (6-5-2) ended a season-long three-game losing skid.

Chicago extended its scoreless streak to 333 minutes, failing to score in each of the last three contests. The Fire last scored in the 27th minute of a 2-1 loss to D.C. United on June 7.

"Our strikers were getting good looks at the net," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "But we need to finish (and score). We can't press too much. We had three good chances. We did get a point for our effort."

The veteran goaltender received a little help in the 54th minute when San Jose's Ramiro Corrales hit the crossbar on his free-kick attempt from just outside the box. Busch was fortunate again in the 86th minute when substitute Shea Salinas' shot hit the far goalpost and Kei Kamara's rebound attempt went wide.

Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon made four saves en route to his fifth shutout of the season and 61st career.

"I feel our team did a good job tonight limiting chances," Cannon said. "This is the first time I've seen us be the better team on the road. We were lucky to find them kind of flat. Unfortunately, we couldn't capitalize on it with a win."

San Jose (3-8-3), which owns the worst record in the league, also is winless over its last four contests, posting an 0-2-2 record over that stretch. The Earthquakes, who are without forwards Gavin Glinton, Peguero Jean Philippe, and Jovan Kirovski due to injuries, have scored just 10 goals in 14 games this season.

"We were very good defensively," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "We have played real well at times this year. We have not had that final touch. It's been frustrating with our injuries."