Earthquakes earn point in scoreless draw with FC Dallas

Earthquakes earn point in scoreless draw with FC Dallas
July 8, 2012, 3:28 am
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The San Jose Earthquakes survived an off-night on offense and a red card ejection to captain Ramiro Corrales late in the second half to earn a point at FC Dallas with a 0-0 draw.

Chris Wondolowski had the best scoring chances for the Earthquakes -- a first half shot was cleared off the goal line by Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz and a second half shot was corralled by a grateful keeper Kevin Hartman.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Jason Hernandez made the play of the game saving a goal off an attempt by midfielder Fabian Castillo.

With the scoreless draw, FC Dallas pushed their winless streak to 13 games. For the Earthquakes defense and goalkeeper Jon Busch, the 0-0 result was their first clean sheet since the end of March.

Neither team registered a shot on goal until a half-hour into the match, when FC Dallas midfielder Castillo latched onto a spilled shot from goalkeeper Busch and fired at the target. In position to support his keeper, defender Hernandez had Castillos shot deflect off his leg while he lay prone in the area.

The Earthquakes had their best chance to open the scoring at the 36th minute mark of the first half when a long ball to Wondolowski gave the forward room to round defender Pertuz. The MLS goal scoring leader sent a chipped shot over onrushing goalkeeper Hartman, but Pertuz recovered to just clear the ball off the line.

As the match approached half time, the Earthquakes again had a great opportunity to score. After some sustained possession, defender Steven Beitashour sent a ball down the right sideline for Marvin Chavez to collect deep in Dallas territory. Chavez did well to shake defender Carlos Rodriguez and carry the ball into the area where he elected to pull the ball back into the path of Beitashour. The right backs one-touch shot was over hit, and the ball cleared Hartmans crossbar.

On a corner kick in the 58th minute, Earthquakes captain Corrales met Chavezs delivery near the far post and shot the ball past Hartman and toward the near post. Instead of registering his first goal of 2012, Corrales could only watch as Dallas defender Rodriguez deflected the bar to safety before it could cross the goal line.

The match appeared to turn in favor of the home side in the 80th minute after team captain Corrales was shown his second yellow card in less than 3 minutes. The Earthquakes brought in Khari Stephenson for Alan Gordon to beef up the midfield and settled into a more defensive formation.

Despite being a man down, the Earthquakes almost struck for a goal on a breakaway in the 84th minute as second half substitute Shea Salinas carried the ball down the right side behind the Dallas defense. Just as Salinas was readying a square pass to Wondolowski in the center of the area, defender Matt Hedges got the slightest of touches to the ball and Hartman punched the ball away.

In the 87th minute, a clever long pass from Sam Cronin found Wondolowski lurking behind the Dallas back line. The forward carried the ball into the area and sent a shot toward the far post. Hartman doing enough to slow the shot, recovered to collect the ball before it could trickle over the goal line.

The Earthquakes survived a late push by FC Dallas through 3 minutes of stoppage time and secured a scoreless draw. The point pushed their 2012 road record to 6-3-2 and their season points total to 37. The Earthquakes return to San Jose for their next match next Saturday against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Robert Jonas covers the Earthquakes for CSNBayArea.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertjonas.