HOUSTON – For the second time this season Sporting Kansas City found a way to get a result in Houston against the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Sporting went toe-to-toe with their Eastern Conference nemesis Wednesday night and battled to a 0-0 draw, one short on artistry and long on caginess. The draw means the Kansas City can clinch a playoff berth from their couches this weekend if the Chicago Fire fail to beat FC Dallas and the Philadelphia Union lose to D.C. United.
For Houston, the shared spoils rules out clinching a playoff berth for the moment. But early on, it looked like three points were going to be theirs.
Houston pushed for first blood from the opening whistle, forcing Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen into three saves in the first seven minutes. Will Bruin tested Nielsen three times in the half, the first inside 90 seconds and second at the six minute mark – both shots from point blank range.
After Houston’s early push the game leveled off, becoming the physical intense battle the clubs are known for waging. Neither side truly threatened again until the stroke of halftime, when Aurelien Collin headed Brad Davis’ free kick off the line.
There was even less attacking impetus in the second half, as both teams coped without a host of regulars lost to the international date. The best look came in the final 15 minutes when some clever play from Bruin found Davis at the back post, but the veteran couldn’t control for a solid look.
With the draw, Sporting remain four points ahead of the Dynamo in second place in the East, meaning Houston would have to make up that difference in final two games to earn home field advantage in a potential home and home playoff series.
Both teams will take the weekend off and return to action the following week with Houston hosting the New York Red Bulls and Sporting hosting D.C. October 18.
Houston Dynamo (13-10-9; 48 points) vs. Sporting Kansas City (15-10-7; 52 points)
MLS regular season
October 9, 2013 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe; Andrew Driver, Warren Creavalle, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (C); Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 89), Will Bruin
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Servando Carrasco, Alexander Lopez, Omar Cummings, Jason Johnson
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen (C); Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic; Peterson Joseph, Oriol Rosell, Lawrence Olum; Soony Saad (Jacob Peterson 59), C.J. Sapong, Dominic Dwyer (Teal Bunbury 74)
Unused substitutes: Eric Kronberg, Christian Duke, Federico Bessone, Josh Gardner, Benny Feilhaber
SKC: Aurelien Collin (caution) 25
HOU: Corey Ashe (caution) 34
SKC: Lawrence Olum (caution) 38
SKC: Oriol Rosell (caution) 57
SKC: Teal Bunbury (caution) 87
HOU: Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 90
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Jeff Muschik
4th Official: Ismail Elfath