for this game

Ching nets equalizer as Dynamo draw with Earthquakes

Sep 14, 2008 - 5:58 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Brian Ching scored in the 71st minute as the Houston Dynamo salvaged a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in the first match of a home-and-home series.

Ronnie O'Brien opened the scoring in the 50th minute and Joe Cannon made two saves for San Jose (7-9-8), which extended its league-best unbeaten streak to nine matches. The Earthquakes are 4-0-5 in their last nine matches.

Arturo Alvarez set up O'Brien just outside the penalty box, and the striker blasted a shot that sailed past goalkeeper Pat Onstad for his fourth goal of the season.

"The ball just rolled nicely for me and I caught it sweetly and hit it to the far post," O'Brien said. "That is about as well as I can hit one."

Ching leveled the contest 21 minutes later, heading home a feed from Stuart Holden for his 10th tally of the season.

"That's the theme of our team, we don't give up; we fight," Ching said. "We knew it was going to be a battle from the start, it came out that way, and we just kept fighting. We had our chances, they had their chances and I think 1-1 is a pretty fair result tonight."

Onstad finished with two saves for Western Conference-leading Houston (10-5-9), which is 6-1-1 in its last eight matches.

The two-time defending MLS champion Dynamo - who originally were the San Jose Clash in 1996 and later the Earthquakes in 2000 - dropped their first match here. Houston was booed throughout its 2-1 loss to San Jose on May 22.

The Dynamo and Earthquakes close their season series next Saturday in Houston.

"Friendship was definitely pushed aside, and it was very competitive," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I know there were handshakes tonight instead of hugs, so that shows what these two teams were feeling.

"The guys were motivated from the first time we played out here. Even with some different players on both sides, the competitive nature was still very high."

San Jose Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop credited the play of both teams.

"It was a fair and a really good game tonight," he said. "Both teams came out to do the right thing and try to score - and from a fan point of view, I thought they enjoyed the match. Obviously getting one point is good. I think it was a pretty even game for both teams. We have to move on and try to get something down in Houston next week."