D.C. United, Dynamo play to scoreless drawOct 13, 2008 - 2:43 AM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Louis Crayton made a key save in stoppage time of the second half as D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo played to scoreless tie Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.
Houston (11-5-11) remains atop the Western Conference, but the Dynamo were only able to extend their lead over idle Chivas USA (12-10-6) to two points. Houston extended its unbeaten streak to six matches.
"We really wanted to get those three points tonight," Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson said. "We had been playing on a roll, even with all the games recently and guys getting a lot of minutes. But tonight, you know, we just didn't get the bounces.
"We didn't accomplish our goal tonight, but that being said, we still got a point, we're still in first place and we still have a game in hand over the second place team and we still have a game against them," Robinson added.
United (10-14-4) remains in the playoff hunt, trailing New York (9-10-9) and Kansas City (9-10-9) by two points with two matches remaining for all three teams. United snapped a three-match losing streak, but is still winless in its last seven.
"Give credit to Houston, they're a good team," D.C. coach Tom Soehn said. "To get a result here, you know you have to defend hard. We were passionate about the way we defended, and knowing what it takes to get a result, so it was a real positive step for us, and our guys are really fighting for each other right now."
Houston had one last chance in the second half when Corey Ashe crossed a pass from the left side to the right half of the box. Dwayne De Rosario headed it toward the left post, but Crayton made a diving save.
United's best chance to score came in the seventh minute when Marc Burch recorded a shot on goal, but goalkeeper Pat Onstad made his only save of the night.
Houston had its lone shot on goal in the first half taken by De Rosario in the 16th minute, but Crayton turned it aside.
"We came here for more than a tie, we came to win here," Crayton said. "Just like in past results, we didn't come here thinking we were going to lose this game. We came here prepared physically and mentally to win. But we still got a good result."
De Rosario had a chance to give the Dynamo the lead in the 78th minute. Crayton came off his line and appeared to get a hand on the ball outside the box, but referee Baldomero Toledo did not penalize the United netminder.
"We just never really got that clean and composed possession in the latter third of the game," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said. "We did have that some in the first few minutes, but even then, we weren't able to get the first goal."
Toledo, however, was busy in the second half handing out yellow cards. He issued seven in a 20-minute span of the second half after neither squad was booked in the first half.
De Rosario was booked in the 53rd minute, D.C.'s Bryan Namoff earned one in the 62nd minute and another in the 73rd minute, leading to his ejection. D.C.'s Devon McTavish and Houston's Eddie Robinson each were booked in the 65th minute and Houston 's Brad Davis and Geoff Cameron were issued cards in the 71st minute.
"I jumped up before (Dynamo defender Brad Davis), and I was in the air and he kind of bent down," Namoff said. "As he bent down, my momentum went with it, and then I saw the ball. The ball went over us, and as I was coming down, I put my arms up to brace myself, and I think that's when I made contact with his head. It was a completely accidental knock.
"Say what you want, but I really don't understand why the referees need to try to dictate the games when they are so close instead of letting these types of challenges go. It was a good challenge, and if there's contact, fine. Call the foul and let the game resume."
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