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Galaxy pull into three-way tie for first in West after tying with Dynamo

The Galaxy, Dynamo and Chivas USA are tied for first in the conference after Houston and Los Angeles each failed to score Saturday.

October 19, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

HOUSTON — The Galaxy and Houston Dynamo played to a scoreless draw Sunday, creating a three-way tie atop the Western Conference.

Donovan Ricketts made four saves for the Galaxy (11-6-12), and Pat Onstad had three for Houston (12-8-9) to help the team match Chivas USA with 45 points. The Galaxy and Dynamo each have one match remaining, while Chivas has two.

Chivas plays at Chicago on Thursday before hosting the Dynamo next Sunday, and the Galaxy completes its schedule at home against San Jose on Saturday.

The Galaxy had a chance to break the scoreless tie in the 52nd minute after Edson Buddle pulled Onstad off his line. The goalkeeper, though, deflected Buddle's blooper from seven yards, and Houston's Geoff Cameron cleared it off the line with a bicycle kick.

"Houston is a real difficult team to play when they're at home, obviously, with the small field and the physicality," said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena. "Their quality on set pieces is good. It was a battle for 90 minutes. I like the mentality of our group and the concentration they showed for 90 minutes."

Houston's best scoring chance came in the 77th minute after Stuart Holden got a pass inside the goalkeeper's box.

Holden's point-blank shot was stopped by Ricketts.

For the fifth straight match and sixth time in seven games, Houston finished with 10 men after Brian Ching was ejected in the 83rd minute for a red card.

David Beckham was given a yellow card for tripping up Ricardo Clark to start the altercation, but Ching exchanged words with Beckham, earning a caution. Ching then was given a red card for apparently head-butting a Galaxy player.

"I ended up touching the guy in the face, and the ref saw it and gave me a yellow card." Ching said. "The linesman and fourth official wanted to get more involved, so they came over and told the ref to give me a red. It was a stupid play on my part, but I think it was an intense game and the ref dealt with it fine."

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