The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas entered Saturday night's match at Robertson Stadium with a number of streaks alive. Houston had won two games in a row and had not conceded a goal in 313 minutes. Dallas had lost its last two MLS matches and had never won at Robertson Stadium.
After a Kei Kamara header in the 57th minute and a stout defensive effort from the home side, all of those streaks continued as the Dynamo beat FC Dallas 1-0.
In the first meeting for El Capitan this year, Houston started the game with captain Wade Barrett out injured. As a result, Andrew Hainault got his first MLS start at left back. Dallas also made several changes to its lineup, with George John and Steve Purdy coming into central defense and Jeff Cunningham starting again, in place of Daniel Torres, Pablo Ricchetti and Dax McCarty.
The first half was dominated by Houston on the possession front, but a goal-line clearance and a couple of squandered chances prevented Houston from taking a lead. In the 10th minute, a Dynamo corner kick by Richard Mulrooney found defender Bobby Boswell free at the far post, but Boswell's header was cleared off the line by FCD fullback Blake Wagner.
Houston's best chance in the run of play in the first half came in the 38th minute. Brian Mullan got by Wagner for a second time in the opening half and sent a cross to the opposite post where Brad Davis was making a run. Davis laid the ball back to Brian Ching, but his shot went high and wide.
Dallas also had a couple of dangerous moments in the first half, mainly on set pieces and counters. In the second minute, a ball was played over the top of the Houston defense to Cunningham, but the forward's shot went just wide.
In the 35th minute, a Dallas corner kick by Dave van den Bergh found the head of Purdy at the far post, but his header went just wide.
Houston kept pressing for a breakthrough in the second half, and they got it in the 57th minute. Davis fed Stuart Holden down the left side. Holden sent a cross to Kamara, who leapt high above Purdy and headed in from short range. It was Kamara's first goal in MLS in 2009.
A Houston and Dallas game would not be complete without some heated tempers. After Boswell made a long run through midfield, he was apparently fouled as he held his face. Davis and FCD's David Ferreira exchanged words and some shoving ensued. Referee Kevin Stott showed each a yellow card.
Dallas started to gain substantially more possession in the second half and it almost paid dividends in the 76th minute with FCD's best chance in the second half. A turnover by Holden left Ferreira was running at the Dynamo defense. Ferreira fed forward Kenny Cooper in front of goal, but Cooper's shot went just wide.
In stoppage time, FC Dallas nearly got their equalizer. A van den Bergh cross found Purdy near the penalty spot, but his header was saved by Onstad and the final whistle blew.
With the victory, the Dynamo won their third consective game and FC Dallas lost their third game in a row. The Dynamo have now not conceded a goal in 403 minutes, the longest streak in MLS this year. FCD continued its record of having never won at Robertson Stadium, now with a 0-5-2 record in MLS play in Houston.
The Dynamo hit the road next week when they take on the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium, while FC Dallas return home to take on Seattle Sounders FC. Both of those games are on Saturday evening.
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSnet.com.