Dynamo draw with Municipal in opener

Opening the 2008 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup on the road, the Houston Dynamo earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw against 25-time Guatemalan champion CSD Municipal at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City Wednesday night.

The Dynamo, who were without experienced players like Brad Davis, Stuart Holden and Patrick Ianni for the first leg, will host the second leg of the quarterfinal series at Robertson Stadium in Houston on March 19.

The game’s first clear chance came in the 16th minute, when a Fredy Garcia free kick deflected to Municipal defender Pablo Melgar at the top of the six-yard box, but he scuffed his shot and sent it wide. Municipal had a pair of dangerous free kicks later in the half, ending with Carlos Figueroa whistling a shot high from a bad angle near the end line.

In the 29th minute, the Dynamo created a scrappy opportunity when Chris Wondolowski one-timed a bouncing ball into the left side of the penalty area, but Municipal goalkeeper Jaime Penedo made a good reflex save on a one-time effort from Dwayne De Rosario, and a sliding defender blocked Wondolowski’s follow-up.

Wondolowski went close again in the 42nd minute, rising at the back post to nod down a Wade Barrett cross, but his header bounced inches wide of the post.

The teams exchanged chances early in the second half, with Barrett winning a defensive header to thwart Israel Silva at one end and Brian Ching whipping a left-footed shot wide at the other.

Municipal missed a golden chance in the 56th minute. After a succession of corner kicks, a right-wing cross fell to Gonzalo Romero at the penalty spot, but he forced his shot wide of the left post.

The Dynamo increased their possession and almost took the lead in the 72nd minute, when midfielder Ricardo Clark teed up a 30-yard bullet toward the top right corner that nicked the outside of the post.

The shot seemed to bring Municipal to life, as the 25-time Guatemalan champions created several chances in the next few minutes, but Pat Onstad and the Dynamo back line stood firm against 14 Municipal corner kicks on the night. The veteran Onstad finished with seven saves to earn the shutout.

Houston signing Franco Caraccio made his competitive Dynamo debut as a substitute in the 83rd minute, coming into the game along with midfielder Brian Mullan.

Houston Dynamo vs. Municipal
March 12, 2008 -- Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City GUA
CONCACAF Champions' Cup -- Quarterfinals, Game 1

Scoring Summary:

Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson, Bobby Boswell, Wade Barrett, Richard Mulrooney, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario (Brian Mullan 83), Corey Ashe, Chris Wondolowski (Franco Caraccio 83), Brian Ching.
Substitutes Not Used: unavailable.

Municipal -- Jaime Penedo, Selvyn Ponciano, Pablo Melgar, Claudio Albizuris, Carlos Figueroa, Fredy Thompson, Gonzalo Romero, Sergio Guevara, Freddy Garcia, Israel Silva (Guillermo Ramirez 67), Mario Rodriguez.
Substitutes Not Used: unavailable.

Misconduct Summary:
HOU -- Wade Barrett (caution) 47
MUN -- Guillermo Ramirez (caution) 93+

Referee: Edgar Rodriguez (CRC)
Referee's Assistants: Luis Roman (CRC); Oswaldo Luna (CRC)
4th official: Ruben Castellanos (GUA)
Attendance: 22,250

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial