A ten man Dynamo squad held on for a long time in Tuesday night's U.S. Open Cup match, but a trio of late goals by Kansas City ended Houston's Open Cup dreams.
This meeting between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City was the 4th knockout matchup between the two in the last five years, the last three being the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. The last time these two teams met was a high-scoring affair; a league play match in Houston that ended in a 4-4 draw.
On the bench Tuesday night and dressing for the first time as a Houston Dynamo was Erick "Cubo" Torres. Torres joined the club earlier this week after spending the first half of the MLS season on loan with Chivas de Guadalajara.
Houston had a number of chances to score off set pieces early, with 4 corner kicks in the first fifteen minutes. The fourth one, played to Leonel Miranda by Brad Davis, presented a great chance for the Dynamo when Miranda tried to find Ricardo Clark right in front of goal, but Kansas City was able to clear his cross away.
Brad Davis served up a beautiful low cross in front of an undefended goal in the 26th minute, but Ricardo Clark, sprawling out his left leg, couldn't quite finish the ball to give the Dynamo the lead.
The Dynamo's job got a lot tougher in the 30th minute, when Luis Garrido made a sliding tackle on Amadou Dia, exposing his studs and drawing a straight red card from the ref. This was the second red card for Houston in as many games, after Kofi Sarkodie drew a straight red on a challenge in Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake.
While the Dynamo played aggressive and created a number of chances early, after they went down a man, Sporting KC dominated time of possession in the first half; 65% to Houston's 35%.
In the 59th minute, the 10-man Dynamo crew pulled ahead 1-0, when Will Bruin knocked in a ricocheted ball off of a Dynamo corner. Many classy Sporting Kansas City fans, worried that Bruin might soon forget how many goals he had scored in the game, reminded him of the number by emphatically waving their middle fingers in his face.
2 minutes later, SKC had an opportunity to even the score, when Brad Davis fouled Chance Myers in the penalty area to give Sporting a penalty kick. Dom Dwyer delivered a strong strike in the lower left corner, but goalkeeper Joe Willis, channeling his inner Tyler Deric, smacked it away to preserve the Dynamo lead.
The heated rivalry between Houston and Kansas City reared its head again in the 68th minute, when a heated argument between Brad Davis and Roger Espinoza lasted longer than Head Referee Ted Unkel was willing to let it. After issuing warnings to Davis, Espinoza, and KC captain Matt Besler, Davis and Espinoza's continued argument earned them both yellow cards.
Things fell apart for the Dynamo in the 71', when Benny Feilhaber leveled the score with a strike in the lower left corner, erasing the Dynamo lead. They went from bad to worse in the 85th, as Dom Dwyer slipped one past Joe Willis on the left side of the goal to put SKC up by 1 off of an assist by Krisztian Németh. Instead of parking the bus and protecting the lead, Németh and Dwyer flipped roles 2 minutes later, with Németh driving home the final nail in the Dynamo coffin via Dwyer assist.
Sporting Kansas City will go on to face Real Salt Lake in the USOC Semifinals on August 11. The Dynamo hope to bounce back against Steven Gerrard and the LA Galaxy when they resume league play at home on Saturday.
Houston: Will Bruin (59')
Kansas City: Benny Feilhaber (71'), Dom Dwyer (86'), Krisztian Németh (88')
Houston (4-4-2): Joe Willis, Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, AJ Cochran, Taylor Hunter, Leonel Miranda, Luis Garrido, Nathan Sturgis (Zach Steinberger 64'), Brad Davis (Mauro Manotas 77'), Ricardo Clark, Will Bruin (Erick Torres 64')
Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia, Chance Myers, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Amadou Dia, Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza (Bernardo Anor 90'), Connor Hallisey (Jacob Peterson 54'), Dominic Dwyer, Krisztian Németh (Saad Abdul-Salaam 90 + 1')
Yellow: Soni Mustivar (34') Ricardo Clark (57'), Roger Espinoza (68'), Brad Davis (68'), Leonel Miranda (75')
Red: Luis Garrido (30')