SEATTLE - Relief mingled with disappointment Friday as Sounders FC got its first goal and first points of the season, but managed only a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Qwest Field.
Seattle dominated the run of play and had by far the better chances – including a club-record 26 shots, compared to Houston’s six.
However, several good opportunities missed their target, and seven that were on goal were handled – sometimes acrobatically – by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall of Gig Harbor.
The Dynamo broke through in the 42nd minute, when Geoff Cameron got the rebound of a free kick that banged off the crossbar and sent it into the top left corner, where it deflected down just across the goal line.
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Suddenly, Seattle was facing a disastrous possibility – three straight 1-0 losses to begin the season.
However, that outcome was averted in the 80th minute, when an Erik Friberg corner kick squirted through the penalty area and on to Steve Zakuani, who sent it in at the far post.
“I obviously think we deserved more tonight than a tie,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I’m very proud of the team, I’m very proud of the effort that we put in.”
However, Schmid was less satisfied with referee Ramon Hernandez, who gave a yellow – rather than red – card in the third minute when Houston defender Hunter Freeman made a tactical foul on Friberg with no one but Hall between him and the goal. Schmid also believed his team deserved a penalty kick when Leo Gonzalez was brought down in the box in the 74th minute. Instead, Gonzalez was carded for simulation.
The Sounders return to action one week from today at San Jose.