Hall, Dynamo hold on for road tie

Local product makes seven saves as Houston earns point at Seattle

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Photo Credit: 
Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

It was not the win either team was hoping for, but it is the result both will take after the Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw Friday night at Qwest Field. Visiting Houston came within 10 minutes of eking out a 1-0 victory on Geoff Cameron’s opportunistic goal in the 42nd minute, but Seattle tied it on Steve Zakuani's equalizer in the 80th minute.

Tally Hall, playing in front of friends and family from nearby Gig Harbor, Wash., came up big for Houston, making six crucial saves to keep his side in the match. But after dispelling waves of Seattle attacks, the Dynamo allowed the equalizer on a poorly-defended corner kick.

Houston avoided serious trouble right out of the gate when defender Hunter Freeman pulled down Sounders winger Erik Friberg just outside the box in the third minute of the match. The Sounders exerted high pressure on the Dynamo throughout the entire first period, spending much of their time in Houston's defensive third.

Brad Evans lashed a shot from distance in the early going that sailed just over the crossbar, and Zakuani missed a challenging shot on an open net after Hall came off his line to snuff out an Evans chance.

Hall's biggest save came in the 27th minute, when he made an excellent reaction save to deny Seattle forward O'Brian White's header from point-blank range to keep Houston in the match. Hall came up big again in the 35th minute, denying Zakuani after a failed clearance from rookie defender Kofi Sarkodie.

MORE: Hall puts forth spectacular performance

As the half wound down, the Dyanamo took full advantage of one of their few chances of the first half. From a free kick, Lovel Palmer crashed a thunderous 30-yard bomb against the crossbar, and it fell to Andre Hainault, who was unable to squeeze off a shot. The loose ball then found its way to Cameron, who unleashed a low drive that ricocheted off the foot of a fallen Jeffe Parke and rung off the crossbar on its way to the back of the net.

In the second half, Houston did its best to hold off Seattle — which was thwarted by Hall and the Dynamo defense time and again — and hold onto its narrow lead. In the 65th minute, Montero unleashed a hopeful 36-yard blast that Hall easily trapped. Just eight minutes later, the Colombian forward again unleashed a shot on goal, this time from 11 yards out, but was again rejected.

Zakuani might have scored in the 79th were it not for a last-second intervention from fellow Akron product Sarkodie. However, the Sounders winger finally broke through a minute later. A mis-hit corner kick from Friberg was deflected by Houston defender Bobby Boswell and skipped through the six-yard box, where Zakuani streaked toward the back post to tap it in and break Seattle's goal-scoring drought.

MORE: Postgame notes and quotes

Seattle might have pulled away with all three points, but Hall made yet another save on Montero at the near post in the 82nd minute.

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Houston Dynamo (0-1-1) vs. Seattle Sounders (0-2-1)
March 25, 2011 -- Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Scoring Summary:
HOU -- Geoff Cameron 1 (unassisted) 42
SEA -- Steve Zakuani 1 (unassisted) 80

Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Hunter Freeman, Corey Ashe (Danny Cruz 85), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75), Jason Garey (Cam Weaver 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Chabala, Alex Dixon, Eddie Robinson, Tyler Deric.

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales 71), Steve Zakuani, O'Brian White (Nate Jaqua 61), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.

Misconduct Summary:
HOU -- Hunter Freeman (caution; Tactical Foul) 2
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Foul) 30
SEA -- Patrick Ianni (caution; Reckless Foul) 43
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46
SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Simulation) 73

Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald
Attendance: 36,204
Weather: Cloudy-and-46-degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial