It took a little extra time, but the Houston Dynamo snagged a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday night. The start of the game was delayed due to the extended play of the other playoff game of the night, Columbus (#SaveTheCrew) vs Atlanta, which went to penalty kicks. With a 9 pm CT start the game in Houston didn’t end until after 11:30 pm CT due to a full 90 and 30 minutes of extra time.
The Dynamo started the game with lots of energy as Cubo Torres took a shot at goal in the first minute of the game. The ball took a deflection and was easily collected by Dykstra. However, that energy gave way to a more languished pace as Sporting Kansas City gained control of the ball.
For the second game in a row the Dynamo were forced to make an early substitute due to injury. Leonardo went down on the field with a left leg injury and Jalil Anibaba came on in his place in the 41st minute.
Though Sporting controlled the ball during the first half only one of their ten shots were on target. None of the shots required much for Dynamo goal keeper Tyler Deric to stop them.
In the 53rd minute Alberth Elis was brought down from behind by Ilie Sanchez on the edge of the box. Sanchez was issued a yellow card and the Dynamo were awarded a free kick. Cubo Torres took the ensuing free kick but his attempt went sailing over the bar. It was a familiar story in the 66th minute when Torres was brought down by Roger Espinoza with a yellow card issued to the SKC player and a free kick for the Dynamo. Yet again the free kick, this time taken by Tomas Martinez, went into the wall.
It looked like Sporting Kansas City had finally broken the dead lock in the 77th minute. Sporting was awarded a free kick and Ike Opara found the back of the net on a header off the kick. However, Opara was ruled offside and the goal was nullified.
After four minutes of stoppage time regulation ended with a 0-0 draw sending the game into extra time. The scoreless finish of regulation meant that the two teams would play two fifteen minute periods of extra time. If those periods ended with a tied score then the game would go to penalty kicks to determine who would advance to the next round of the playoffs.
The Dynamo finally claimed a lead in the 94th minute of the game. It was second half substitute Vicente Sanchez who set up the goal working to keep the ball in bounds before passing the ball to Elis who was sitting eight yards of from goal. Elis took two touches to line up his shot and drilled it right down the center to put Houston up 1-0.
Elis tried to return the favor as he set up Sanchez on the run minutes later. With only the goalkeeper to beat Sanchez ran into the box but his shot went wide of the goal. It was followed up by a chip from Quioto that missed the net a minute later.
At the end of extra time Sanchez was dragged down by Dykstra and the Dynamo were awarded a penalty. Dykstra was issued a yellow card for taking down Sanchez, but the kick from Sanchez was saved by Dykstra.
A single goal on the night was enough to eliminate Sporting Kansas City from the playoffs and send the Houston Dynamo to the Western Conference Semifinals. The Semifinals will be a home-and-away series with the first game being played in Houston on Monday night, October 30, against the Portland Timbers who finished the season as the number one team in the Western Conference. Kickoff is set for 8:30 pm CT.
41' SUB: Jalil Anibaba replaces Leonardo, who was helped off minutes before with an injury. #HOUvSKC— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 27, 2017
73' SUB: Romell Quioto replaces Erick Torres. Second sub for the Dynamo, still 0-0. #HOUvSKC— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 27, 2017
86' SUB: Vicente Sánchez replaces Ricardo Clark. Still 0-0 here. #HOUvSKC— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 27, 2017
91' SUB: Eric Alexander replaces Alex with the fourth sub, available now in an extra time near you. #HOUvSKC— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) October 27, 2017