Sporting Kansas City are fast becoming the comeback kids of MLS after a 90th-minute Aurelien Collin goal earned his club a 1-1 draw against nine-man Houston Dynamo on Saturday night to push Sporting’s unbeaten streak to 11 games in MLS play.
It was the second week in a row that Kansas City has netted an equalizer in the 90th minute or later. Collin was set up 25 yards away from goal and hit a hard, low shot which deflected behind Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to break the Dynamo's 268-minute shutout streak. It canceled out a stunning eighth-minute free kick goal by Dynamo set piece ace Brad Davis.
In addition to his goal, Collin was involved in two other game-changing plays on the night. The French defender was on the receiving end of a studs-up slide tackle from Colin Clark in the 51st minute that gave the visitors a man advantage. Then 14 minutes later, Collin was locked in a battle with Brian Ching that resulted in the Houston captain kicking at the defender’s heel and drawing the second straight red card from referee Kevin Stott.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Dynamo looked poised to stave off a frantic and pressing Kansas City, which took 24 shots on the night, including eight on goal. Until the Collin goal, Sporting had been repelled at every turn by a stingy Dynamo defense and an outstanding performance from Houston’s goalkeeper.
Hall was credited with eight saves on the night – four in each half – in front of a depleted back line. In addition to losing two men to ejections, Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor was forced out of the game at half time after taking a knock to the head late in the first half.
Houston took the 1-0 lead in the 8th minute when Davis scored his third goal of the season on a well-struck free kick from 22 yards out. Ching drew a tough foul while attempting to hold off Collin. Davis nestled the left-footed curling shot to the near post and just out of the reach of Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Houston improves to 24 points and remains one point ahead of Kansas City in the standings while pushing its own unbeaten streak to four games. The Dynamo next take on English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers in the third annual Dynamo Charities Cup. Houston then travels to Los Angeles for its next MLS match next Saturday against Chivas USA.
Sporting Kansas City (5-6-8) vs. Houston Dynamo (5-6-9)
July 16, 2011 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
HOU -- Brad Davis 3 (unassisted) 8
KC -- Aurelien Collin 3 (Roger Espinoza 2) 90
Sporting Kansas City -- Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Michael
Harrington (Teal Bunbury 80), Birahim Diop, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza,
Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong, Omar Bravo.
Substitutes Not Used: Soony Saad, Luke Sassano, Seth Sinovic, Milos Stojcev, Shavar Thomas, Eric Kronberg.
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor (Bobby
Boswell 46), Corey Ashe, Je-Vaughn Watson, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis
(Lovel Palmer 61), Danny Cruz (Hunter Freeman 79), Brian Ching, Colin
Substitutes Not Used: Will Bruin, Jason Garey, Cam Weaver, Tyler Deric.
HOU -- Danny Cruz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 21
HOU -- Colin Clark (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 51
HOU -- Brian Ching (ejection; Violent Conduct) 70
KC -- Aurelien Collin (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Adam Wienckowski; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Matthew Foerster
Weather: Clear-and-90 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial