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Five reds as Houston gets point in Panama
by Ridge Mahoney, August 27th, 2009 7AM



[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP] Much of what troubles international club soccer on the field erupted Wednesday in La Chorrera, Panama, as Houston and Arabe Unido traded fouls and cards while tying, 1-1.

Kei Kamara scored in the 69th minute with Houston down to 10 men yet still up one against Arabe, which exploited a reversed advantage to score in the first minute of stoppage time. Playing nine against eight (more on that later), Orlando Rodriguez headed home a cross to maintain Arabe's unbeaten start to the group phase. It and Houston are 1-0-1 after two games.

Debris and missiles were hurled from the stands and a power outage delayed the match. Much time lapsed while referee Neal Brizan whistled for fouls and scribbled down names. Five players were sent off, three with second cautions, as momentum tipped back and forth as the constantly-changing teams tried to make sense of it.

Thirteen names were taken. Omar Camargo of Arabe went into the book twice, as did Andrew Hainault and Stuart Holden of Houston.

Banished with straight reds were David Daniels and Corey Ashe. A sliding tackle from behind by Daniels on Kamara earned his ejection in the 11th minute; Ashe's expulsion reduced the Dynamo to 10 men 10 minutes into the second half.

To liven up his attack after a scoreless first half, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear replaced Geoff Cameron with Holden, but Houston couldn't exploit the 11-v-10 advantage it had held for most of the first half. Ashe's collision with Andres Santamaria was punished severely, and both teams were down to 10.

Kinnear brought on Holden at halftime hoping he could create a goal just as he did one week ago against Isidro Metapán. Things turned ugly soon, however, when Ashe sent in a cross and collided with Árabe Unido's Andres Santamaria. After a considerable delay that saw Santamaria and his teammates begging for Ashe to be shown a card, referee Brizan ejected Ashe, leveling the teams at 10 men apiece.

Carmago hog-tied Dominic Oduro and went off in the 67th minute. Two minutes later Houston finally capitalized. Santamaria misjudged a long ball and Kamara sailed in alone to shoot past goalkeeper Carlos Bejarano. A road win grew more likely with each passing minute, but a bitterly played match boiled over in the final 10 minutes.

Hainault left with his second yellow card of the game in the 81st minute and a nine-v-nine frenzy ensued. After about four minutes, Jose Justavino set up Rodriguez, but his shot rolled wide. As Holden headed back up the field, he barked out in frustration, and didn't stop when cautioned the first time.

Justavino broke clear in the first added minute, crossing a bouncing ball out of the air for Rodriguez to head home. The crowd announced as about 2,500 pelted the field in celebration. Almost as if on cue, the stadium lights flickered and went out, setting back play for 12 minutes.

Houston's exit from the field was delayed as they waited on the field for the fans to disperse, and departure from the stadium was also delayed by another power outage after the final whistle.

Concacaf Champions League

Group A
Aug. 26 in La Chorrera, Panama
Arabe Unido 1, Houston Dynamo 1
Goals: Rodriguez (Justavino) 91+; Kamara 69.
Árabe Unido -- Bejarano, Daniels, Lewin, Santamaria, Camargo, Aguirre (Cooper, 46), Castañeda, Rodriguez (Cummins ,72), Justavino, Rodriguez, Mendieta (Mosquera, 61).
Houston -- Hall, Ustruck, Cochrane (Boswell, 78), Hainault, Chabala, Cruz (Mullan, 72), Hayden, Cameron (Holden, 46), Ashe, Kamara, Oduro.
Referee: Neal Brizan.
Att.: 2,500


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