(Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Dynamo FC and FC Dallas, each playing their third match in an eight-day stretch, split the points after a scoreless draw on Saturday in Houston in a key late-season Western Conference match between the two Copa Tejas rivals.
The Dynamo's Coco Carrasquilla had perhaps the match's best opportunity to score when he worked a breakaway with Amine Bassi in the 88th minute that produced a powerful shot from Carrasquilla that was tipped over the crossbar by Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes.
The teams settled for a draw, with the Dynamo (12-11-8, 44 points) remaining in fifth place in the West and FC Dallas (10-10-11, 41 points) holding on to ninth place and the final wild-card playoff spot in the conference. There are three matches to play in the regular season.
Dallas' Maarten Paes stopped five shots to record his seventh clean sheet of the season and 15th in his two-year career. Houston's Steve Clark countered with two saves and posted his 12th shutout this season and the 62nd in his 10-year career.
Houston is 3-1-3 in its past seven MLS matches. FC Dallas has dropped just one match in its past 13 outings across all competitions, with four wins and eight draws in that stretch.
Dallas had the first real scoring chance of the contest when Alan Velasco was turned away by Clark at the bottom-right corner in the 10th minute. The Dynamo countered in the 28th minute when Hector Herrera tested Paes with a shot from outside the box that the Dallas keeper batted away at the top center of the goal.
Herrera rifled another shot from outside the box in the 37th minute that was also saved by Paes.
Houston recorded its third shot on goal via Franco Escobar's shot from the right side of the six-yard box that was stopped in the bottom-right corner by the Dallas keeper.
Then the teams traded shots on target, with Paul Arriola producing a weak shot from close range that was gobbled up by Clark in the 78th minute and Nelson Quinones saved by Paes on the ensuing possession for Houston.
--Field Level Media