The Houston Dynamo earned a hard fought 0-0 draw with Sporting KC in a rare mid-week clash between perennial MLS playoff powers. The draw kept SKC (15-10-8 52pts) four points up on the third place Dynamo (13-10-10 48pts) in the Eastern Conference.
Early on the Dynamo pressed the attack forcing SKC keeper Jimmy Nielsen to make some dynamic saves in the game's opening eight minutes. In the second and sixth minutes, Nielsen kept the sheet clean robbing Houston's top scorer Will Bruin.
SKC sporting the league's top defense and most penalized team continued the trend pulling down four more yellow cards in game that was punctuated by continuous whistles in what Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear termed a tough, physical match.
"Tough game. We could have walked out of here with a win. We had the chances to do so. It was a tough, physical match for both teams."
The Dynamo kept up the pressure in the second half, coming within inches of taking the lead on two separate opportunities.
"We sure did create some good chances," continued Kinnear. "We put an awful lot into attacking that first half. I thought we had enough chances to be good for a goal, sometimes the other team defends well."
In the 68th minute, Nielsen robbed Bruin again coming off the line to deflect the shot away. The 74th fellow forward Giles Barnes slip in the box as he prepared to get a shot away. Midfielder Brad Davis pass across the goal line in the 75th minute thwarted another opportunity. The chance of the night came in the 77th minute as Bruin fed a well-weighted pass towards the six yard spot that a sliding Andrew Driver narrowly missed tipping past Nielsen.
In the final fifteen minutes of play, SKC applied some pressure in the Dynamo defensive third of the field but the men in orange were up to the task as goalkeeper Tally Hall kept up with huge saves. It was an effort defender Eric Brunner was proud of.
"It was a hard battle especially this time of year. The team gave a good effort and I think you get a good result when you leave it all on the field, that's what we did tonight."
The Dynamo have eleven days off before returning to action on Sunday October 20, 2013 in the regular season home finale against Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls in a 3p.m. match.