FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Defenders Hernan Pertuz and Carlos Rodriguez each cleared shots off the goal line and Kevin Hartman made two spectacular saves in the final 10 minutes to preserve a 0-0 tie for FC Dallas against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
The tie was the third in a row for FC Dallas (3-9-7), the Western Conference’s worst team, and extended their franchise-record winless streak to 13 games (0-7-6).
“Fortunately, we were able to get two clearances off the line tonight and then I was able to turn around and pull one back before it got over the line,” said Hartman, who has allowed just one goal in the past three matches.
“Maybe our luck is changing a little bit defensively, so now if we could get a few goals, it would allow us to enjoy the fruits of our labor.”
“We played a very good team tonight and I thought it was a 50-50 game,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “They’re a good team. They lead the league. They’re also a very good team on the road. They’ve scored a lot of goals so we were a little bit worried about that.”
The result allowed San Jose (11-4-4) to maintain its spot atop the MLS overall standings and preserved the league’s best road record at 6-3-2.
“Obviously, the clean sheet’s important,” Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said. “A little bit disappointed we didn’t finish the chances that we created, which were some good, clear-cut chances. But pleased that we did defend well, so it was a good point.”
After captain Ramiro Corrales was ejected in the 80th minute for his second yellow card within three minutes, San Jose was forced to finish the match with 10 men for the first time this season.
Still, the Earthquakes had two prime opportunities down the stretch, but were unable to solve Hartman, who made outstanding saves on Shea Salinas and Chris Wondolowski in the final minutes for his MLS-record 109th career shutout.
“I feel that we have the mentality that we’re never going to give up and never say die,” said Wondolowski, who leads the league with 14 goals.
“Whether a man down, a goal down, tied in the 90th minute, we’re still going to fight to the end. We had a couple of chances that, to be honest, I think we need to put away. Whether you’re down a man or up a man, when you’re one-on-one with the goalkeeper, you still need to finish it and we didn’t do that.”
Dallas pushed forward until the final whistle, but its last-gasp attempt in the 93rd minute, a 30-yard blast from Rodriguez, was expertly punched out by Earthquake goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Busch made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
Each side had chances to snap the scoreless tie in the first half.
Dallas nearly took the 1-0 lead in the 31st minute when Busch slid out to stop a shot from Brek Shea, but was unable to corral the ball.
The loose rebound bounced out to Fabian Castillo about 15 yards out, and his shot deflected off Busch and then was blocked by defender Justin Morrow.
Six minutes later, San Jose came close when Wondolowski sprinted past Pertuz into the penalty area alone. As Hartman came out at him, Wondolowski, the MLS’ leading scorer with 14 goals, chipped it over him for what appeared to be a goal, but Pertuz hustled back and managed to clear the ball just before it reached the goal line.
“I think I have to do a little better job of finishing off a little bit,” Wondolowski said. “I thought I just needed to get it past Kevin and I thought it would be in, but the defender did a really good job of coming back and clearing it.”
“It was a play that we were expecting, and the coach told me to be ready for Wondolowski to do the run,” Pertuz said through an interpreter. “Wondolowski won the ball, he went one-on-one with Kevin and I just sprinted to the net, and when the ball came over Kevin and bounce going toward the line, I just threw himself at it and thank God I managed to get to the ball and clear it in time.”
San Jose nearly got the game’s first goal in the 58th minute when a corner kick found Corrales on the far side of the box for a volley shot that bounced past Hartman, but this time, Rodriguez was there to clear it off the goal line.
Dallas’ best chance in the second half came in the 76th minute when Jackson drilled a 20-yard blast just over the crossbar.
The match marked the return to the starting lineup of Dallas star David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP who led the squad to the MLS Cup Final that year. Ferreira, making his second appearance and first start after missing 45 games due to ankle and foot fractures sustained April 23, 2011, played all 90 minutes.
“What a good performance from David Ferreira,” Hyndman said. “Here’s a guy that we talked about going 30-40 minutes and at halftime, `Can you play a little bit more in the second half?’ and as you saw, he went 90-plus.”
In addition to Ferreira, FC Dallas also got the return of midfielder Ricardo Villar, who missed the previous 13 games due to a right foot injury. Villar entered the match as a second-half substitute and registered a shot in the 73rd minute.