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FC Dallas Ties Red Bulls To Extend Unbeaten Streak

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Eric Alexander had a goal and an assist and FC Dallas extended its franchise-record unbeaten streak to 15 games, tying the New York Red Bulls 2-2 on Thursday night.

Dallas (10-2-12) is 8-0-7 during the streak, three off the MLS season record set by Columbus in 2004.

The Red Bulls tied it in the 82nd minute on Dallas defender Jair Benitez’s own goal.

“You’re rather happy to get the tie in a way,” New York coach Hans Backe said. “If you look at the number of chances Dallas had in the second half, there were probably two or three really good ones and we didn’t create that much.”

Milton Rodriguez also scored for Dallas, and Mehdi Ballouchy connected for New York.

New York, 3-1-1 in its last five and 12-8-5 overall, moved within three points of first-place Columbus in the Eastern Conference standings.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman left the match following Ballouchy’s goal because of an injured medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He was hurt when Red Bulls star Thierry Henry attempted to triumphantly drill the ball back in the net and caught Hartman’s foot along with the ball.

“Basically, from I what I see, right after they scored the goal, they both go to kick the ball at the same time,” referee Hilario Grajeda said after the 2-2 tie. “They never connect knees or anything. They just nailed the ball at the same time. It happens, you know.”

Henry, a longtime French star, joined the Red Bulls last month.

“The ball was there and like I do sometimes, I just wanted to kick the ball back in the net,” Henry said. “He put his foot out there and that’s how he got injured. That was unfortunate. I went to apologize at halftime because I didn’t mean to hurt him. He put his foot out there and I just wanted to smash the ball back in the net. A pure accident. I told him I was sorry. He accepted it. It was one of those stupid things.”

Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said the team would likely submit a complaint to the league.

“It’s the weight it puts on us now,” Hyndman said. “I thought Hartman was going to be up for MVP. Now we have to go get a pool goalkeeper. It was something that was not necessary, so we’ll see what happens.”

Hartman’s shutout streak ended at 415 minutes on Ballouchy’s goal.

“I’m not real sure exactly how it happened,” Hartman said. “We’d given up the goal, obviously, and it was just one of those things where he wanted to get the ball back to midfield or whatever. Henry went to hit the ball and I tried to intercede, and unfortunately got hurt.

“I’m pretty bummed about it. You obviously want to play as much as possible and to have to come out because of an injury that happens pretty much in dead time is disappointing.”

Alexander gave Dallas 2-1 lead in the 68th minute. New York tied it when Joel Lindpere sent a cross from the left wing into the middle, where Benitez inadvertently headed it into his own net.

Dallas opened the scoring in the 23rd minute on Rodriguez’s goal, but when Brek Shea was ejected for taking down New York defender Chris Albright, the complexion of the match changed.

“A lot of emotions in the game, for the coaching staff, for the fans, and particularly for our players,” Hyndman said, “because we came very close to pulling off an upset of a team at that level playing down a man for that long — it was quite a character test.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.