Estrada leads Seattle past Houston 2-0
SEATTLE (AP) - David Estrada walked into the locker room at halftime to find out his fourth goal in just two games was taken away. By the time he came back in after Seattle's victory on Friday night, Estrada had regained ownership of goal No. 4 and claim to being the top scorer in MLS early in the season.
"Everything I hit is going in,'' Estrada said with a chuckle.
Estrada scored his fourth goal on a deflected shot in the 23rd minute, Brad Evans converted a penalty kick four minutes later and the Sounders rolled to a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo.
Seattle (2-0-0) took down its second straight Eastern Conference foe after opening the MLS season with a 3-1 win over Toronto last Saturday. The Sounders are hoping to make the most of a favorable early schedule that puts six of their first eight league matches at home before spending the majority of May, June and July on the road.
Estrada, who had a hat trick last weekend, kept his goal-scoring streak going when his blast from outside the penalty box deflected into the net. But while the goal was initially given to Estrada, ultimately getting credit for giving Seattle a 1-0 lead wasn't so easy.
Estrada was at the top of the penalty area when a corner kick was headed out of the box. He got off a right-footed shot before the ball touched the ground.
His shot appeared to be on goal even before it deflected off Houston defender Geoff Cameron and past Dynamo keeper Tally Hall, who was diving in the opposite direction of the deflection.
"When I hit it, I thought it was on target,'' Estrada said. "Then I saw the replays and it was questionable. But they gave it to me.''
Before halftime even arrived, the official scoring was changed to an own-goal since replay made it difficult to see if Estrada's initial shot would be on net. Then in the waning moments of the game, the goal was changed back to Estrada's.
"When it's going good, it's going good,'' Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "So you can shoot on goal and get a little bit of a deflection and score a goal. But he did well. You get rewarded when you work really hard.''
Before Houston (2-1-0) had a chance to respond to Estrada's strike, the Sounders were threatening again. Seattle earned another corner and defender Patrick Ianni was fouled by Cameron when he undercut Ianni coming up from the back line for the corner kick. Referee Baldomero Toledo didn't hesitate pointing to the penalty spot and Evans converted the PK even with Hall guessing correctly on his attempted diving save.
Seattle had a chance to get its third early in the second half but Roger Levesque missed a wide open look. Still, the Sounders controlled possession for most of the night and made life easy for goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, whose only real threat came early in the match. Will Bruin was set up perfectly by Brian Ching but the left-footed shot was tipped over the crossbar by Gspurning.
"He came out and did well on a couple of crosses, ones he punched out and collected,'' Schmid said. "I thought it was a good game tonight for Michael's confidence and also for the fans to see his quality tonight.''
Houston started the season with wins at Chivas USA and San Jose for the best start in franchise history. It's beginning the season with a seven-game road trip while its new soccer-specific stadium at home is completed. The Dynamo won't play their first home match until May 12 against D.C. United.
"We had about a 10-minute spell there in the first half where we kind of lost our way up to a little bit of luck. And then the penalty, I've got to take a look at it again. It's hard to tell,'' Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said. "You call a penalty in a corner.I think every corner you can call a penalty. It's just the way it went.''
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