Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins prevented his side from losing their sixth game of the MLS season, holding out Houston for a 0-0 draw.
But Tuesday’s result was not enough to lift the struggling Timbers from bottom spot on the MLS Western Conference table, and they remain one point behind Chivas USA.
The scoreless draw was a disappointment for Houston Dynamo, who were playing the first night game at their new BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dynamo had several chances to break the deadlock late on, but Perkins made a couple of good stops, denying firstly Colin Clark and then Calen Carr, while Houston were well served by their own shot-stopper Tally Hall, who did well to save efforts from Lovel Palmer and substitute Eric Alexander.
Portland lost midfielder Jack Jewsbury at half-time with a suspected hip injury and he was replaced by Mike Chabala.
The draw leaves Houston in sixth place in the Eastern Conference table, 10 points adrift of leaders New York Red Bulls.