The Houston Dynamo entered Saturday’s contest coming off a disappointing 0-1 road loss to Minnesota United FC and looked to bounce back at home against the visiting Sporting Kansas City. The Dynamo had been undefeated at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2019 and that held true even though they had to come from behind to level things up.
The early stages of the match saw both the Dynamo and SKC feel each other out and weather the heat and humidity. Neither side had much rhythm, but Houston would get the first real chance of the match. Romell Quioto sent in a cross aimed towards Alberth Elis, but it was cleared straight up. Eventually it would fall to Matías Vera who ripped an effort from distance. It ended up deflecting off Mauro Manotas’s foot and going just over the top.
As the first half went on, the Dynamo energy began to deflate and SKC started to dictate the pace of the game with their possession. However, as things got a little chippy with lots of small calls going against the Dynamo, Houston began to play themselves back into the game. Following a nice give and go between Tomás Martínez and Oscar Boniek García, the ball fell to Maynor Figueroa who tried to place one back post from distance. The effort forced a low save by Tim Melia, but Mauro Manotas would get the rebound. Manotas tried to shoot as he turned, but the ball would be cleared almost off the line by Graham Smith.
SKC’s plan to possess and control the game’s tempo was largely successful in the first half. This was likely Kansas City’s game plan given their injuries, they’re coming off a midweek game, and the weather in Houston makes those first two things more difficult to deal with. Houston sat deeper and their offense was limited to counter attacks. Poor turnovers in the midfield also contributed to a stalled offense in the first half.
The Dynamo came out with more energy to start the second half. A ball was played to Elis on the side line who back heel flicked it to Martínez, Martínez got free down the right side and sent in a cross, but it was just over Quioto back post.
In the 55th minute the Dynamo came close again to opening the scoring. After a nice give and go between Quioto and Manotas, Quioto was in on goal and fired a shot from close range, but Tim Melia made a great save. The rebound fell to Elis, who put the ball on his left foot, but it was just off from going into the far post netting.
However despite the better energy, Sporting Kansas City would open the scoring. Ilie Sánchez played a great ball to Yohan Croizet. Croizet was able to get around Adam Lundqvist who poorly shielded the ball, gain possession, and chip a rushing Joe Willis.
Fortunately for the home side the lead by the visitors did not stand for long. In the 69th minute Figueroa played a long ball towards A.J. DeLaGarza. AJ headed the ball down towards Elis who side volleyed it into the back of the net to equalize the game.
Early into stoppage time Elis and Boniek combined to attempt to put the Dynamo up late, but Boniek’s shot went right at Melia.
The game would end 1-1 despite a better push by the Dynamo in the end. The first half and part of the second had the Dynamo sitting back too deep and misplacing passes in the midfield which hurt their ability to generate offense. After SKC’s unlucky goal, the Dynamo had to turn things on, but it was too little, too late to get all three points.
Up next for the Dynamo is Austin Bold Tuesday, June 11th at 7 PM at BBVA Compass Stadium as we defend our trophy in the next US Open Cup.
63’ SKC: Yohan Croizet (assisted by Ilie Sánchez)
69’ HOU: Alberth Elis (assisted by A.J. DeLaGarza, Maynor Figueroa)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Joe Willis; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, A.J. DeLaGarza; Oscar Boniek García, Matías Vera, Tomás Martínez (77’ Tommy McNamara); Romell Quioto (74’ Memo Rodríguez), Mauro Manotas (87’ Marlon Hairston), Alberth Elis
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Seth Sinovic, Graham Smith (61’ Andreu Fontàs), Botond Baráth, Nicolas Hasler; Felipe Gutiérrez, Ilie Sánchez, Gianluca Busio (61’ Benny Feilhaber), Dániel Sallói (Graham Zusi), Krisztián Németh, Yohan Croizet