One game in 100 words: The rain delay didn’t hinder any of the game action, as a scuffle between Kofi Sarkodie and Benny Feilhaber marked what was an aggressive game steeped in yellow cards. Will Bruin scored the first goal in the 35th minute, and after halftime, Dominic Dwyer equalized in the 54th minute, netting his 17th score of the season on a deflected shot. The two goals within five minutes of each other bolstered Houston’s lead to 3, and the scoreline never changed, as Sporting failed to convert during a hefty six minutes of stoppage time.
Houston: Will Bruin (35’), David Horst (62’), Ricardo Clark (67’)
Sporting Kansas City: Dominic Dwyer (54’)
Three moments that mattered:
26′ — KC’s missed opportunity to capture the first goal — Sporting Kansas City had a golden chance to seize an the first score of the competition to possibly change the outlook of the match. A corner kick was thrown into the box for Sporting, and it took a hard deflection straight at the net, forcing a pure reaction save from Tally Hall.
62′ — Horst blasted header — At this point, neither team was the favorite to win the game as the score was level at 1-1, but when David Horst stood completely unmarked on the doorstep to receive Brad Davis’ set piece cross, that notion quickly dissolved. It was a great delivery from Davis, and Horst crushed the ball into the upper netting with his head. Young goalkeeper Jon Kempin couldn’t realistically have been able to save the chance.
67′ — Sporting succumbs to a two-goal hole — Five minutes after Horst put his team ahead, Ricardo Clark struck, and the crowd at Sporting Park was stunned. Again, Brad Davis hit a perfect ball toward into the penalty area, and Clark barely made contact with the pass, skipping it off the top of his head. There was still a fair amount of time left in the game, but a two-goal deficit only presents an uphill battle.
Sporting Kansas City — Kempin, Ellis, Collin, Besler, Sinovic, Steuble (Claros 66’), Olum, Feilhaber (Saad 68’), Sapong, Dwyer, Zusi
Bench — Palmer-Brown, Toni, Claros, Lopez, Bieler, Saad, Melia
Houston Dynamo — Hall (Deric 80’), Sarkodie, Horst, Taylor, Ashe, Garcia, Clark, Garrido, Davis, Barnes, Bruin (Johnson 40’)
Bench — Deric, Cochran, Driver, Ownby, Carrasco, Lopez, Johnson