Houston Dynamo FC under the new leadership of Interim Manager Kenny Bundy following the sacking of Paulo Nagamura were looking to turn a new leaf as they returned back to PNC Stadium in Houston taking on longtime rivals Sporting Kansas City.
The opening minutes saw Sporting Kansas City come out aggressively which is a smart strategy on the road to hold the home crowd at bay, but Houston was able to keep things stable and work their way back into the game through increased possession and a more assertive approach in the midfield.
In the 9th minute Houston had a great chance to go up after regaining possession. Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla got the ball and turned before playing a long through ball intended for Fafà Picault, but it was just slightly over hit, The effort would’ve put Picault 1v1 with Kansas goalkeeper John Pulskamp. Following this attempt Houston began to reclaim the momentum with a number of close chances coming their way.
Even with the Dynamo retaking the majority of possession and chances, Kansas City was still committed. First a foul by Matías Vera on Johnny Russell set up a free chance attempt. The effort was headed away but set up Felipe Hernández for a rebound attempt that glanced wide. Just two minutes later Hernández had another rip that struck the woodwork, but the game remained locked at 0-0 20 minutes in,
As the game approached the half, both sides seemed to settle in with neither looking too aggressive going forward. The visitors, Kansas City, had a few close chances, though without success. Houston alternatively won the ball in the midfield well and transitioned it quickly, but seldom tested goalkeeper Pulskamp.
Things would get worse for the Dynamo just before halftime with Matías Vera getting a second yellow card and getting sent off. Despite that, Kansas City struggled to break Houston down with a man advantage and both sides would go into their respective locker rooms locked at 0-0.
Despite the possession advantage by Kansas with Houston down a man, the Dynamo would get a few really close looks on goal after winning possession in favorable positions. Picault had a chance blocked away following a good win by Sebastián Ferreira before a great effort by Corey Baird that went wide.
The Dynamo continued to test Kansas City with a great ball to Corey Baird by Zarek Valentin. Baird pushed the ball wide to Coco Carrasquilla who read the run of Picault perfectly. Picault’s shot just wasn’t on target enough with the SKC goalkeeper pushing the ball away from danger around the 60th minute.
Sporting Kansas City had a pair of good looks on goal around the 65th minute with Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark providing the role of super hero. William Agada forced a huge save by Clark before going out wide. A ball across goal saw Clark swat it towards the end line before being cleared.
With the game going closer to the 90th minute, Houston continued to threaten on goal with substitutes making a difference, but unable to breakthrough. Kansas City also mounted pressure, but struggled to break down the Dynamo defense.
Houston had one of the best efforts of the night in stoppage time which would’ve been a massive steal of points from their rivals. Coco Carrasquilla got the ball in a great spot and moved centrally to draw the defenders closer with his wingers making runs on either side of him. Coco coolly played a ball in front of substitute Thor Úlfarsson who blasted a shot at the SKC goalkeeper which ricocheted off the post.
The final whistle would blow and the game would end at 0-0 which would be a fitting score line for two teams in the basement of the Western Conference. However, it isn’t a terrible result considering Houston played down a man for the entire second half.
It will be a short turnaround for the Dynamo, but at least they’ll remain at PNC Stadium as they take on the New England Revolution on Tuesday, September 13th at 7:30 PM CT.
18’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
38’ HOU: Sebastián Ferreira (yellow card)
41’ HOU: Matías Vera (second yellow card/red card)
65’ SKC: Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (yellow card)
88’ SKC: Dániel Salló (yellow card)
90’ HOU: Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla (yellow card)
HT Darwin Cerén on, Darwin Quintero off
66’ Thor Úlfarsson on, Corey Baird off
76’ Nelson Quiñónes on, Sebastián Ferreira off
Sporting Kansas City:
68’ Marinos Tzionis on, Johnny Russell off
72’ Roger Espinoza on, Eruj Thommy off
72’Uri Rosell on, Rémi Walter off
83’ Robert Voloder on, Ben Sweat off
83’ Cameron Duke on, Felipe Hernández off