CARSON, Calif. -- The Houston Dynamo answered Robbie Keane's early strike and produced a defensive gem Saturday night, grabbing a share of the points while extending their regular-season unbeaten streak against the LA Galaxy to five games.
Nathan Sturgis scored in his season debut, from an 11th-minute corner kick, after Keane gave LA (1-0-2) a third-minute lead following a run from midfield, and Tyler Deric made several big second-half saves as the Dynamo (1-1-1) held on for a 1-1 draw at StubHub Center.
It was a costly point for Houston, which lost midfielder Ricardo Clark and left back DaMarcus Beasley to injuries.
The Galaxy extended their home unbeaten streak to 18 MLS regular-season games. They are 19-0-5 in their last 24 matches at StubHub Center.
Houston had won the previous four regular-season meetings, including one game at StubHub, since the Galaxy's home triumphs in the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup finals.
The Galaxy made just one change from last week's draw at Portland, with Jaime Penedo getting his first start this season in the nets.
Houston switched from the 4-4-2 it used in its first two matches to a 4-2-3-1, with Clark andLuis Garrido in the holding positions, Boniek Garcia moving from forward to the right flank, andLeonel Miranda moving to the bench with Sturgis coming on in central midfield.
LA went ahead at the start, with Keane netting his second goal this season after barely 2½ minutes. Jose Villarreal picked off a Houston pass inside Galaxy territory, fed Keane at the midfield stripe, and the Irishman took off on a 50-yard sprint to the Dynamo box, beating Sturgis just outside the area, then firing off Deric, with the ball bouncing into the net.
The Dynamo answered eight minutes later on a corner kick. The 6-foot-4 David Horst beat 6-5Omar Gonzalez at the far post for Garcia's serve and nodded the ball across the goalmouth. Sturgis caught his mark, Robbie Rogers, ball-watching and raced in alone to easily finish.
Houston, despite far less possession, were the superior team the rest of the half, exhibiting greater energy while pressuring the ball all over the field and limiting LA to just three chances, with Villarreal and Baggio Husidic sending headers off-target and Deric beating Stefan Ishizakito a long ball from Gonzalez.
Clark, who would depart just before halftime with a chest injury, nearly nodded the Dynamo ahead moments after Sturgis' goal, but his header from a Brad Davis corner kick just cleared the upper-right post. Clark fired at Penedo from the top of the box in the 21st minute, after Garcia stripped the ball from Rogers.
Houston lost Beasley to a left hamstring injury just 10 minutes into the second half.
The Galaxy dominated play after the break and created a half-dozen good chances but were unable to beat Deric.
The Dynamo keeper's toughest stop was a diving save of substitute Mika Vayrynen's 25-yard blast in the 71st minute, and he also tipped a Husidic header over his crossbar in the 49th, punched away a Gonzalez header in the 72nd, and snagged a Juninho free kick from the edge of the box in the 78th and a Keane try from the top of the box in the 80th.
Houston had just one shot in the second half, a Horst header from an 89th-minute corner that bounced to Penedo.
The Dynamo are home next Saturday against Colorado, and the Galaxy visit D.C. United.
LA Galaxy 1, Houston Dynamo 1
Saturday, March 21, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. PT
MLS Regular Season
StubHub Center – Carson, CA
LA – Robbie Keane (Assisted by Jose Villarreal) 3’
HOU – Nathan Sturgis (Assisted by David Horst, Óscar García) 11’
HOU – Giles Barnes (caution) 6’
HOU – Luis Garrido (caution) 39’
LA – Baggio Husidic (caution) 39’
LA – Juninho (caution) 58’
HOU – Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 77’
LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan (Edson Buddle 86’), Leonardo, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers; Jose Villarreal, Juninho, Baggio Husidic (Mika Vayrynen 69’), Stefan Ishizaki (Alan Gordon 68’); Robbie Keane ©, Gyasi Zardes.
Substitutions not used: Brian Rowe, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Ignacio Maganto.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2.
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; DeMarcus Beasley (A.J. Cochran 55’), Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Kofi Sarkodie, Nathan Sturgis (Will Bruin 79’), Óscar García, Luis Garrido, Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark (Rob Lovejoy 42’); Giles Barnes.
Substitutions not used: Leonel Miranda, Chandler Hoffman, Joe Willis, Alexander Lopez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3.
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar and Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Kevin Stott