Drama and goals flowed freely at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Wednesday night, as the Kansas City Wizards rallied to defeat the Houston Dynamo 4-3 on a last-second goal.
Fighting for its playoff life, Kansas City came back from two goals down to snatch three points at the death through a header from Josh Wolff. Kansas City moved to 9-9-6 to keep its playoff hopes alive. They now trail the eighth and final playoff spot, occupied by Seattle, by just three points. Houston dropped to 6-14-5 with its fourth consecutive loss. The match was the Dynamo's fourth loss in stoppage time this season, most in the league.
Kansas City became the first team in MLS this year to come back from two goals down to win and the first team to ever beat Houston after facing a two-goal halftime deficit. The result also tied the league season high for most goals scored in a single game. Houston defeated Chicago, 4-3, exactly a month ago.
Houston had jumped out to a two-goal lead midway through the first half after Cam Weaver poked in Mike Chabala's cross in the 13th minute and Dominic Oduro ran onto Weaver’s flick to drive the ball past Jimmy Nielsen, doubling the score in the 35th minute.
Kamara answered back just a minute later with Craig Rocastle providing the assist. Incredibly, the Dynamo added a third goal – the third tally overall in four minutes – in the 37th minute when Shavar Thomas’ clearance from a Houston free kick fell to defender Adrian Serioux at the back post to bundle into the back of the net.
With Kansas City's playoff chances riding on the final seven games, manager Peter Vermes made two offensive-minded changes at halftime, inserting Teal Bunbury and Jack Jewsbury for Birahim Diop and Stephane Auvray, respectively.
Kansas City came inches from pulling a second goal back five minutes into the second half when Kamara sent a cross to the back post. Jewsbury’s header beat Onstad, but Bobby Boswell cleared it off the line and slid to block Bunbury’s follow-up attempt.
But Bunbury got another chance in the 60th minute and made no mistake to make the score 3-2 in strange fashion from a Houston goal kick. Onstad slipped when taking the kick, and Bunbury beat the Dynamo defense to the ball and slid it between the goalkeeper’s legs for his fourth goal of the year.
Amazingly, that’s when things got even crazier.
Kansas City’s determination paid off again in the 72st minute when Ryan Smith’s shot deflected off Serioux for the Wizards' equalizer. Arnaud nearly grabbed the go-ahead goal a few minutes later, but his half volley hit the outside of the post. Houston sub Danny Cruz also cleared a Kei Kamara header off the goal line.
But the drama did not end there, as a bevy of yellow cards and injuries resulted in five official minutes of stoppage time that turned into seven minutes, and Wolff nodded Michael Harrington’s cross past Onstad in the sixth of those seven minutes, kicking off wild celebrations in the stands.
Houston Dynamo (6-14-5) vs. Kansas City Wizards (9-9-6)
September 22, 2010 -- CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Kansas City KS
HOU -- Cam Weaver 2 (Mike Chabala 3, Brad Davis 8) 13
HOU -- Dominic Oduro 3 (Cam Weaver 1) 34
KC -- Kei Kamara 10 (Craig Rocastle 2) 35
HOU -- Adrian Serioux 2 (unassisted) 37
KC -- Teal Bunbury 4 (unassisted) 60
KC -- Ryan Smith 2 (Michael Harrington 2) 71
KC -- Josh Wolff 2 (Michael Harrington 3) 96+
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Adrian Serioux (Ryan Cochrane 94+), Mike Chabala, Corey Ashe, Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 71), Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro (Joseph Ngwenya 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Sammy Appiah, Richard Mulrooney, Eddie Robinson.
Kansas City Wizards -- Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad, Shavar Thomas, Roger Espinoza, Davy Arnaud, Stephane Auvray (Jack Jewsbury 46), Craig Rocastle (Josh Wolff 85), Kei Kamara, Birahim Diop (Teal Bunbury 46), Ryan Smith.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Jonathan Leathers, Graham Zusi.
HOU -- Andrew Hainault (caution; Reckless Foul) 46
KC -- Roger Espinoza (caution; Reckless Tackle) 67
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
HOU -- Bobby Boswell (caution; Dissent) 89
HOU -- Joseph Ngwenya (caution; Reckless Tackle) 95+
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Philippe Briere; Jeff Gontarek
4th official: Michael Kennedy
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial