Sapong's late goal give SKC 1-1 draw vs. Houston
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – After a night of frustration, C.J. Sapong finally found the net – and salvaged a point for Sporting Kansas City.
Sapong's first eight shots either missed the mark or were stopped – twice in spectacular fashion – by Houston's Tally Hall. But in the third minute of stoppage time Friday night, on his ninth try at goal, Sapong buried a header that gave Sporting a 1-1 draw against the Dynamo.
Graham Zusi,who fed Sapong for the late equalizer, moved into a tie for the league lead with his 13th assist, alongside Seattle's Mauro Rosales.
Houston, playing without manager Dominic Kinnear and midfielder Calen Carr, were denied a chance to jump to within two points of the Eastern Conference lead.
Instead, East leaders Sporting (15-7-6) extended their unbeaten streak to six matches and held Houston (12-7-10) without a win for the fifth time in six matches.
The Dynamo thought they had it won on Brad Davis' 58th-minute goal and seven saves from Hall, who came within seconds of what would have been his league-leading 12th clean sheet. But in the third of the four additional minutes, Sapong connected on Graham Zusi's cross, putting the ball just inside the left post and keeping the visitors on 46 points.
Kinnear and Carr – who had a brace in Houston's 2-1 home victory over Sporting on July 18 – were suspended for Friday's match for an ejection in Houston's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake and yellow card accumulation, respectively.
But for a while, it seemed that wouldn't matter as Hall stoned the home side until the death and Davis put the visitors ahead against the run of play shortly before the hour mark.
He took Boniek Garcia's pass in the middle of the attacking third, worked to his left to get into space, and put his shot past a screened Jimmy Nielsen and inside the far post.
Sporting return to action on Wednesday at New York. The Dynamo will face another busy week with a Thursday night, Champions League match against FAS at home before a Sunday afternoon MLS match at Philadelphia.
Sporting Kansas City (15-7-6) vs. Houston Dynamo (12-7-10)
September 14, 2012 LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
HOU: Brad Davis 7 (Boniek Garcia 6) 58
SKC: C.J. Sapong 6 (Graham Zusi 13) 90+3
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe (Andre Hainault 74); Luiz Camargo, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis; Macoumba Kandji (Giles Barnes 81), Will Bruin (Brian Ching 88)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Warren Creavalle, Colin Clark, Cam Weaver
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Julio Cesar; Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza (Jacob Peterson 74), Kei Kamara; C.J. Sapong
Substitues not used: Eric Kronberg, Dominic Dwyer, Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell, Neven Markovic, Michael Harrington
HOU: Luiz Camargo (caution) 86
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Jorge Luna Hernandez