The Houston Dynamo had Sporting Kansas City’s number since the MLS is Back Tournament, winning the first two matches against them. However, that streak ended tonight as Kansas City jumped on some bad passes which propelled them to a 2-1 win over Houston.
The opening minutes were pretty back and forth with both sides playing quickly to their forwards, but neither was particularly threatening with the defense being up to task. Houston had one good chance in the 7th minute with Adam Lundqvist making a brilliant run down the left side of the field and getting to an over hit ball. Lundqvist hit a low ball hard towards the near post, but Mauro Manotas wasn’t able to find the net.
Houston had a golden chance to go up in the 16th minute. Ari Lassiter won the ball in a favorable position and took the ball down the wing. He picked out Darwin Quintero through traffic, and while Quintero’s first touch was a little heavy he was able to recover well. Quintero spotted Manotas, who held his run very well, but Manotas’s shot was off target.
After the early minutes with both sides playing aggressively, the Dynamo settled in and seemed to be the more dangerous side with Quintero being the catalyst on the team. Quintero slalomed through the SKC backline quickly combining with some 1-2 passing and was able to create his space to get a chance, but the shot was lacking power and placement.
However, Kansas City responded to the near chance by Houston by getting the game’s first goal. A great over the top ball to Alan Pulido found him fending off Kiki Struna and Maynor Figueroa. After getting through he was able to get the ball passed Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić.
Following SKC’s goal, the Dynamo gained more possession with Kansas City largely clogging the midfield. Most of the away team’s chances came by poor giveaways by Houston.
The second half began a lot like the first with both sides coming out aggressively and with a lot of energy. The Dynamo controlled more of the possession and had some time in the final third of the field, but the final pass and effort was lacking early into the second half.
Marko Marić came up big for the Dynamo in the 65th minute making a pair of saves to keep the deficit with KC at one. Pulido sent Khiry Shelton a through ball and 1v1 with Marić, but Marić made a great reaction save. The ball landed with Johnny Russell at the top of the 18 yard box and he tried to catch Marić flat footed, but the Dynamo goalkeeper did well to deny Kansas City a second time.
Pulido doubled the lead for Kansas City in the 73rd minute. Some great link up play between Gianluca Busio and Roger Espinoza opened up space behind for Alan Pulido. Pulido slid into the pass and chipped in a goal over Marić. 2-0 KC.
There was a bit of drama before the 80th minute involving Quintero and Winston Reid. Reid was shielding a ball from Quintero and Quintero thought he got elbowed in the head. He got up and pushed Reid over. After some shoving and yelling, Quintero and Reid received yellow cards and the game resumed.
Houston would get some hope towards the end of the game. Following a long ball to Niko Hansen who earned a corner, Sam Junqua headed home a goal to get the Dynamo back in the game.
The Dynamo came close a couple of times in stoppage time to get the equalizer, but were unable to close the gap. The final whistle blew and SKC would walk away with three points. Houston did not have a poor game, but passing errors out of the back and in the midfield supplied Kansas with their lead while on the offensive side the Dynamo failed to capitalize on some of their opportunities.
Next up for the Dynamo is another rival, FC Dallas, next Wednesday October 7th at 7:00 PM CT.
34’ SKC: Alan Pulido (assisted by Gianluca Busio)
73’ SKC: Alan Pulido (assisted by Gianluca Busio, Roger Espinoza)
84’ HOU: Sam Junqua (assisted by Darwin Quintero)
39’ SKC: Amadou Dia (yellow card)
45’+1’ HOU: Kiki Struna (yellow card)
72’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
77’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (yellow card)
77’ SKC: Winston Reid (yellow card)
81’ SKC: Ilie Sánchez (yellow card)
90’ SKC: Roger Espinoza (yellow card)
90’+3’ SKC: Tim Melia (yellow card)
90’+5’ HOU: Maynor Figueroa (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundqvist (77’ Sam Junqua), Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, Zarek Valentin; Oscar Boniek García (58’ Niko Hansen), Matías Vera, Darwin Cerén (77’Marcelo Palomino); Darwin Quintero, Mauro Manotas (69’ Christian Ramirez), Ariel Lassiter (69’ Nico Lemoine)
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Amadou Dia, Winston Reid, Roberto Puncec, Graham Zusi; Gianluca Busio, Ilie Sánchez, Felipe Hernandez (61’ Roger Espinoza); Alan Pulido (80’ Erik Hurtado), Khiry Shelton, Johnny Russell (88’ Gerso)