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Dynamo, FC Dallas draw in season opener
Monday, 29 March 2010
The 2010 season got off to a familiar start for the Houston Dynamo and its fans as the team came away with a point after drawing FC Dallas 1-1 last Saturday.

Thanks, closer

The draw marks the fourth time in five seasons that Houston has started the season with something other than a win. Nonetheless, the result will be a welcome point as off-season changes and difficult conditions on the road made the game tricky for both teams.

While the sun was out at kickoff, so was the wind. Gusts of over 30 mph did not help either team settle and the play was often disjointed and difficult to watch.

Pat Onstad with the save The first chance of the game came within the first few minutes as defender Bobby Boswell seemed to fluff a back pass to keeper Pat Onstad which gifted FC Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham with a 1v1. Fortunately, Onstad read the situation well, closed down the space, and Cunningham could not get it past the onrushing keeper.

Both midfields had trouble connecting in the first half but as time wore on, the Men in Orange created better options.

Dominic Oduro used his speed to take advantage of a Dallas defense that was pushed up much too high to earn a 1v1 against the Dallas goalkeeper. Dario Sala made the save as Oduro wasnít able to pick out the far post that he sought.

A few minutes later, the Texian Army thought itíd seen the gameís first goal when midfielder Brad Davis cut into the middle of the field from his customary role on the left before missing the left post by inches. The Dallas midfield was beginning to give Houston time and space on the ball and Houston was starting to take advantage.

Chabala, Mulrooney celebrate In the 36th minute, left back Mike Chabala started a gut-busting run deep in his end of the field to provide options in the attack. He was rewarded for his effort when he finished off a nice passage of play from Davis and Oduro to put the Dynamo up 1-0. The goal was Chabalaís first in MLS play and he promptly celebrated by kissing his badge and pointing towards the away support.

The lead would be shortlived as Dallas responded a mere two minutes later.

After beating Boswell with a nice give and go with teammate David Ferreira, FC Dallas forward Atiba Harris somehow found himself in acres of space at the top of the 18-yard box and promptly rifled a shot past Onstad leaving him no chance.

Adding injury to insult, Eddie Robinson was forced to come off right before half with what was later confirmed by the Dynamo as a left hamstring injury. Nevertheless, the Dynamo went into the locker room at half time tied 1-1.

The second half started in FC Dallasí favor. The Dynamo midfield was unable to control the game as they had in the last portions of the first half and Dallas created a few opportunities through set pieces. While Sala gifted Houston with a free kick just outside the penalty box after he mistakenly stepped out of his area while punting the ball, Davisí free kick was high and wide.

Dallas created more opportunities as Cunningham missed narrowly high after having a goal ruled out for offside. By the end of the game, the home team seemed out of ideas and Houston was more likely to score as they controlled possession.

Houstonís best chance came in the 85th minute as good work from substitute Corey Ashe and right back Andrew Hainault led to a beautiful cross to the far post for forward Luis Angel Landin who had come on five minutes earlier.

Unfortunately for the Men in Orange and their fans, the cross was just a touch too high and Landin was only able to poke the ball over the crossbar from a few yards out.

Next up: defending champion Real Salt Lake on Thursday, April 1.