Match Recap: Sporting KC 1, Houston Dynamo 1
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – This time, Sporting Kansas City got the call – and still had to settle for a single point.
A week after a blown offside call denied them a goal in a 1-1 away draw to D.C. United, Sporting succeeded in getting a penalty kick award overturned on Sunday against Houston.
Still, Sporting (6-4-4) will take encouragement from Kei Kamara's first goal since returning from his loan to Norwich City of the Premier League, and from extending their current unbeaten streak – and their unbeaten run against the Dynamo (6-4-3) – to three matches.
And it could have been worse, especially with three key players sidelined by injury.
When Davis went down under Uri Rosell's challenge in the 38th minute, referee Drew Fischer immediately pointed to the spot. After vehement protests from Sporting's players, though, Fischer conferred with assistant referee Kevin Duliba and waved off the penalty ruling.
But in the first minute of stoppage time, Davis stole back the momentum – and gave Houston the lead.
Giles Barnes flicked the ball on forward to Will Bruin, who took it with his back to the defense and worked free before slotting a quick through ball to Davis for a finish inside Jimmy Nielsen's near post.
Houston called for their own penalty kick when Ike Opara brought down Bruin with a hard tackle in the 70th minute, but Fischer allowed play to continue.
Kamara, who came on as a second-half sub, equalized from distance in the 68th minute on his first successful link-up with DP center forward Claudio Bieler. After Jacob Peterson got a touch on Rosell's through ball, Bieler's square pass found Kamara just outside the area after a dummy from the advancing Peterson.
He slotted it into the lower right corner for the equalizer, and nearly put Sporting up 2-1 with a blistering set-piece header in the 75th minute. Hall leaped to tip the ball over the crossbar – and that wasn't even his best save of the match.
That came in the 37th minute, when Graham Zusi snapped a header toward the lower right corner. Hall dived to his left, got a hand on the ball, and deflected it inches wide of the post.
Sporting had a series of late scratches for the rematch of their 1-0 away victory two weeks ago at BBVA Compass Stadium. Center back Aurelien Collin was out with a right knee sprain, and midfielder Benny Feilhaber and forward C.J. Sapong both sat out with ankle sprains. All three were ruled out after evaluations on Saturday.
The Dynamo played without both of their starting centerbacks with Bobby Boswell unavailable due to suspension and Jermaine Taylor unavailable due to injury. Houston also lost Corey Ashe for the final 45 minute after the starting left back was removed at halftime with an apparent groin injury.
Both teams open U.S. Open Cup action this week and return to league play on Saturday, with Sporting at home against Montreal and the Dynamo away to Columbus.
Sporting Kansas City (6-4-4; 22 points) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-4-3; 21 points)
MLS regular season
May 26, 2013 Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
Attendance: 20,876 (sellout)
Houston: Brad Davis 3 (Will Bruin 4, Giles Barnes 2) 45+1
Kansas City: Kei Kamara 1 (Claudio Bieler 1, Jacob Peterson 1) 68
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 46); Andrew Driver, Ricardo Clark, Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 87); Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Warren Creavalle 81)
Substitutes not used: Erich Marschedier, Luiz Camargo, Brian Ching, Anthony Arena
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Mechack Jerome (Chance Myers 46), Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Oriol Rosell (Lawrence Olum 81), Peterson Joseph (Kei Kamara 52); Graham Zusi, Claudio Bieler, Jacob Peterson
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Mikey Lopez, Michael Thomas, Josh Gardner
HOU: Giles Barnes (caution) 50
SKC: Seth Sinovic (caution) 57
Referee: Drew Fischer
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Belleau, Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Daniel Radford