By JUSTIN FERGUSON
The two sides that met at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night had two very different goals in mind.
While the Houston Dynamo sought a win that would snap a frustrating skid, the visitors from Toronto wanted to post back-to-back wins for the first time since last July.
However, the winning desire from both sides did not culminate in any goals as Houston and Toronto FC canceled each other out in a 0-0 draw. Both sides created quality chances on goal, but solid goalkeeping and some errant shooting forced them to share honors on Saturday.
Toronto was definitely the more pleased with the result, a point in one of the league’s toughest venues after a much-needed win at D.C. United last weekend. The visitors only had 33 percent of the match’s possession but still managed to fire three shots on goal, one less than their hosts.
Robert Earnshaw, Doneil Henry and Bobby Convey each had quality looks at Tally Hall’s goal in the opening 20 minutes. Convey, who set up Henry on a corner just minutes earlier, fired a shot that skewed just wide of the goal for the visitors’ best chance of the first half.
Houston turned the momentum into its favor following the Convey miss. Defenders Kofi Sarkodie and Corey Ashe found space out wide and targeted striker Will Bruin in the box with several quality balls, but none of Bruin’s headers found their way past Joe Bendik.
The two sides traded punches for most of the second half, but the Dynamo were able to close out the half on the front foot once again. Bruin took advantage of a quick free kick and tried to lace a shot past Bendik in the 79th minute. Henry’s last-gasp slide forced Bruin’s shot to deflect right into the grateful arms of the Toronto goalkeeper, and the chance fell by the wayside.
Toronto had the last great chance at breaking the deadlock shortly after Bendik’s save. Jeremy Brockie’s attempt from outside the box was parried by Hall, and Danny Koevermans tried a rebound from an extremely tight angle. His effort was also kept out by Hall, who kept his first league clean sheet since May’s 4-0 win over D.C. United.
The Dynamo (6-5-5) will now try to end its winless skid on the road when they visit the New York Red Bulls a week from Sunday. Toronto (2-7-6) head back to BMO Field for a match with new Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake next Saturday.
Here are the match highlights: