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MLS PLAYOFFS

Houston earns tie at Seattle in MLS playoffs

Dynamo holds Sounders to a 0-0 draw in first game of the playoffs.

October 30, 2009|Associated Press

SEATTLE — Blood, noise and yellow cards outnumbered scoring chances as the expansion Seattle Sounders debuted in the MLS playoffs with a 0-0 tie against the Houston Dynamo on Thursday night in the first match of a home-and-home, aggregate-goals series.

Second-seeded Houston, seeking its third MLS title in four seasons, denied a frantic late flurry of corner kicks and set plays by Sounders star Freddie Ljungberg.

It was the fourth scoreless tie this season for each team.

The two stingiest defenses during the regular season -- 29 goals against each in 30 games -- bulled through 60 minutes. There were only two prime scoring chances in that span. The first came from former Dynamo player Patrick Ianni, who started because Tyrone Marshall had a sprained knee. He headed a shot off the crossbar in the 43rd minute on a long free kick by Ljungberg.

In the 58th minute, Houston All-Star midfielder Brad Davis had his shot from the top of the penalty area poked away with a right hand by Kasey Keller.

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