RSL and Houston battle to scoreless draw

RSL and Houston battle to scoreless draw

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SANDY, Utah (STATS)--- The one time Real Salt Lake got the ball past Pat Onstad, it still wasn't good enough to break a scoreless tie. Onstad made six saves - and the crossbar made one more - for the Houston Dynamo in a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Onstad recorded his MLS-leading ninth shutout of the season for the Dynamo (11-6-6), making his biggest save in the 45th minute when he stopped Robbie Findley's shot just in front of the goal.

"It was a bit of a reaction save," Onstad said. "I think he'd be the first to tell you that he didn't get all of it and probably gave me the opportunity to get my hand out there and fortunately the guys bailed me out with the rebound."

Findley had another good chance in the 49th minute, but a diving header that beat Onstad bounced off the crossbar.

Nick Rimando didn't have to make a save for Salt Lake (7-8-6), as none of Houston's three shots went on goal. He did break up several crosses by the Dynamo for Real, which finished with 16 total shots.

RSL's Will Johnson hit the side of the net in the 15th minute and Findley's header bounced wide of the goal in the 35th. Kyle Beckerman sent a shot from outside of the penalty box straight to Onstad in the 42nd minute as Salt Lake repeatedly tested the Houston goalkeeper.

"From the first whistle to the last whistle the focus was there," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "Everything was there tonight except for the finishing touch."

Houston's previous shutout came July 4, and in the six games since then the Dynamo had allowed 10 goals.

"We haven't been pleased with the way we've been playing defensively over the past few weeks," Onstad said. "I thought tonight we limited their opportunities."

While Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said the Dynamo players weren't in the locker room giving each other high-fives for the scoreless draw, he acknowledged the team was of the hard work it took to earn a point away from home.

"We had the post to thank the one time in the second half, but I thought defensively we looked pretty sharp," Kinnear said. "Obviously going forward has been tough for us but anytime you get zero on the other side of it you're going to get something out of the game."

Both teams played the second half with 10 men.

Houston went a man down in the 36th minute, when defender Andrew Hainault picked up his second yellow card of the match after fouling Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola. Hainault's first yellow card, which came in the ninth minute, was also the result of a foul against Espindola.

Real's one-man advantage didn't last long, as Clint Mathis also picked up two yellow cards in the first half. His first came in the fourth minute on a tackle from behind against Houston's Geoff Cameron. Then, just before the end of the first half, Mathis slammed the ball on the ground after not agreeing with the lineman's call of a goal kick and received his second yellow card.

"I thought both red cards were warranted with the way things were going out there," Kinnear said.

Salt Lake was whistled for 19 fouls, while the Dynamo got called for 10.

Story from: STATS LLC,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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