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Houston Dynamo unable to complete comeback in loss to Sporting Kansas City

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The first half was not so good, but the second half provided for an entertaining match with the Dynamo chasing an equalizer before KC pulled away at the end. 

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo came off a midweek 0-0 draw and were now back out on the road, this time at Children’s Mercy Park to take on Sporting Kansas City hoping to get their first road win of the year. Unfortunately, they’ll still be looking for that this season with SKC coming away with a 4-2 win. Kansas dominated the first half with Houston looking sloppy and frustrated, but came out well to make an entertaining second half as they kept coming within a goal of equalizing before KC pulled away.

Sporting Kansas City had the first real chance of the day in just the third minute. Gadi Kinda was fouled on the edge of the box by Maynor Figueroa. Johnny Russell stepped up to the free kick, but his shot went right into the wall.

As both sides settled in during the opening minutes, Kansas City were largely in control of the possession and used a higher line to put pressure on the Dynamo defenders. Houston on the other hand were content to chase and try to counter attack.

SKC were able to take advantage of a mistake by Sam Junqua in the 13th minute. The ball was played across goal to Johnny Russell. Junqua was late to defend the attacking player and made contact with Russell from behind in the penalty box. The center official immediately pointed to the spot despite Russell exaggerating some of the contact as he went down. After a brief check with VAR, the penalty stood with Russell converting it to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Houston thought they had equalized in the 20th minute after Darwin Quintero played Corey Baird on goal. However, even though Baird’s chipped goal was a quality finish, Baird would be ruled offside. Moments later SKC nearly doubled their lead with a through ball being played to Dániel Sallói. Sallói volleyed an effort from distance as he tried to beat Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson, but it struck the side post.

Sallói would be on target in the 26th minute to put SKC up 2-0. Gadi Kinda played a perfect through ball towards Sallói who continued his run towards the back post. He played the ball back post and around Michael Nelson into the net.

Kansas City continued to apply a lot of pressure with them seemingly in complete control of the game. They didn’t sit back on their lead, rather they leaned into their possession and continued to push up the field. Tab Ramos changed his formation in the 30th minute to a 4-3-3 by taking off Junqua and bringing on Maxi Urruti, but Kansas City stayed in control of the game all the way through halftime.

The goalkeepers were both tested early in the second half. Sallói for KC played a ball that was dummied to Kinda, but Michael Nelson made himself big and blocked the shot. On the other side Tim Melia had a similar save after some good combination play in the final third found Quintero on goal, but Melia was able to keep the ball out of the net.

However, the Dynamo would play their way back into the game in the 50th minute. Griffin Dorsey did well to win the ball back and get out wide before he placed a perfect ball for Fafà Picault. Picault did well to get in front of his defender and make contact with the ball to put it in the roof of the goal. 2-1.

Just as it looked Houston had begun to take control of the game, SKC was able to increase their lead in the 57th minute. After gambling on a tackle, Dániel Sallói slotted Kinda in so that he was 1v1 with Nelson. Kinda was clever and this time dribbled around Nelson to make it 3-1 to the home side.

Through the 70th minute, things evened out in terms of performance by both teams. Tyler Pasher, Griffin Dorsey, and Picault offered some danger going up the field with Kinda and Sallói providing the lions’ share of the chances for Kansas City.

Houston would come within one again in the 76th minute. Excellent service by Picault on the left wing saw Picault play in a cross to Darwin Quintero. Quintero beat his man and headed the ball into the near post. 3-2.

In the 79th minute it looked like Maxi Urruti equalized the game. A fantastic through ball by Tyler Pasher took Urruti 1v1 with Melia. Urruti was able to get around the SKC goalkeeper and blast the ball into the net. However, the assistant referee raised his flag late to indicate Urruti was offside. The center official listened to his VAR official who sided with the AR.

Kansas came close to again increasing their lead just a few minutes later after a poor giveaway out of the back. Roger Espinoza pounced on the opportunity, but Nelson was again able to come up with a big save to keep the Dynamo in the game.

Johnny Russell would get KC their fourth goal of the game in the 90th minute and put the nail in the coffin. Russell got the ball on the wing and quickly changed his speed which helped him get around Figueroa and beat Nelson.

The final whistle would blow and it would end 4-2. The first half the Dynamo came out sloppy and gave up a pair of goals to a motivated Kansas City side. The second half the Dynamo had made adjustments and played their way into the game, but allowed SKC to keep their distance with Kansas answering the Dynamo’s attempts to equalize.

The Dynamo will be back home on Saturday, October 16th when the Seattle Sounders come to BBVA Stadium for a 7:30 PM CT kickoff.

Goals:

15’ SKC: Johnny Russell (penalty kick)

26’ SKC: Dániel Sallói (assisted by Gadi Kinda)

50’ HOU: Fafà Picault (assisted by Griffin Dorsey)

57’ SKC: Gadi Kinda (assisted by Dániel Sallói)

76’ HOU: Darwin Quintero (assisted by Fafà Picault)

90’ SKC: Johnny Russell (assisted by Graham Zusi)

Disciplinary:

14’ HOU: Sam Junqua (yellow card)

27’ HOU: Teenage Hadebe (yellow card)

53’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)

85’ SKC: Graham Zusi (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (3-4-1-2): Michael Nelson; Maynor Figueroa, Teenage Hadebe, Tim Parker; Sam Junqua (32’ Maxi Urruti), Darwin Cerén (32’ Joe Corona), Matías Vera (79’ Memo Rodríguez), Griffin Dorsey; Darwin Quintero; Fafà Picault, Corey Baird (61’ Tyler Pasher)

Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Luís Martins, Andreu Fontàs, Ilie, Graham Zusi; Gadi Kinda (78’ Roger Espinoza), José Mauri, Rémi Walter (73’ Cameron Duke); Dániel Sallói, Khiry Shelton (59’ Alan Pulido), Johnny Russell