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FC Dallas loses to Houston dropping out of 1st place

Published 8/20/2007 10:46:31 PM by staff from mlsnet.com
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FC Dallas saw its six-game unbeaten streak ended with a 1-0 loss to Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on Sunday evening. The defeat also drops FC Dallas to second place in the MLS Western Conference standings, falling one point behind Houston.

The loss drops FC Dallas' record against Houston this season to 0-2-1, meaning that the Hoops will once again yield to Houston "El Capitan," the Civil War-era cannon that goes to the winner of the season series between the Texas rivals. The Hoops still have yet to defeat Dynamo in Houston, compiling a 0-5 record when visiting the Bayou City.

Houston forward Brian Ching scored the lone goal of the match on a diving header in the 42nd minute. FC Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse, starting his third game of the season in place of the injured Shaka Hislop and Dario Sala, had no chance to react as Ching dove onto Dynamo midfielder Brian Mullan's cross only a few feet in front of the goal line.

Despite allowing Ching's goal, Burse played very well in the match. The 'keeper was shaken up in the 38th minute after colliding with Ching while sliding in to deflect the Houston attacker's shot. Burse shook off the collision and stayed in the game to notch four saves, keeping FC Dallas within striking distance of the tie.

Burse's most dramatic moment of the game came in the 12th minute. Burse had misjudged the bounce on a ball played forward from the midfield, allowing Dynamo forward Joseph Ngwenya to get around the keeper with an opportunity to put the ball in the open net. As Ngwenya leapt up for the header, Burse turned and reached past the forward's head to punch the ball out of bounds and prevent the goal.

Playing without leading scorer Juan Toja, the FC Dallas offense was unable to muster a response to Ching's strike. FCD forward Carlos Ruiz had two good chances on corner kicks, once in the 33rd minute and once in the 54th. In both instances, Ruiz met the corner kick at the back post and put a solid header on goal, but Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad was in position to make the save.

In the 60th minute, midfielder Arturo Alvarez flashed past the Dynamo back line and had only to beat Onstad for the goal. However, after pushing the ball to Onstad's left to circumvent the 'keeper, Alvarez could not quite corral the ball and was forced to try to chase it down at the end line. The forward got to the ball in time, but could not quite manage a controlling touch, and the ball slipped out of bounds for a goal kick.

The Hoops had another chance in the 77th minute, when forward Dominic Oduro got a step in front of his defender and appeared set for a 1-on-1 with Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Oduro fell, however, when it appeared that his feet got tangled up with those of the trailing defender.

Oduro protested to referee Tim Weyland that he had been fouled and deserved a penalty kick. Weyland disagreed and Oduro was eventually issued a yellow card for continuing to plead his case.

All told, the FC Dallas attack put up eight shots, including five on goal. Alvarez led the Hoops with three shots, including one on goal. While attempting to even the score in the second half, the Hoops' offense was out shot by the Dynamo attack by a margin of 6-3.

The fourth and final meeting between the two intrastate rivals will be held in Frisco on Sun., Sept. 30.  FC Dallas will next play against D.C. United on Sat., Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Pizza Hut Park. Houston Dynamo next face the Columbus Crew on Sat., Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Robertson Stadium.

Label: MLS, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Brian Ching, Ray Burse
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