The Houston Dynamo secured their 11th home victory of the season after a second-half comeback to defeat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday evening.
An own goal from Sporting Kansas City put the Dynamo ahead in the 77th minute. Following a handball call along the right touchline, midfielder Tomás Martínez whipped in a cross to the near post where Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown attempted to clear it. However, the clearance skipped off his shinguard sideways into the back of the net.
After going into halftime behind 1-0, the Dynamo equalized courtesy of Martínez in the 63rd minute. The young Argentine scored his second goal of the season with a first-touch volley past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Forward Vicente Sánchez started the play that led to the goal by deftly turning on a Sporting defender and sliding a through-ball to defender A.J. DeLaGarza into the corner. DeLaGarza’s cross took a deflection into the path of Martínez, who buried the chance.
Sporting Kansas City struck first, scoring in the 32nd minute through a goal from distance by midfielder Jimmy Medranda. Medranda collected a pass from midfielder Gerso Fernandes approximately 25 yards from goal on the right side of the penalty area and blasted a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net at the far post.
Three minutes later, the Dynamo nearly equalized thanks to a left-footed blast from Martínez from 25 yards out. Sánchez played a free kick to Martínez’s feet, and the young Argentine took a touch and uncorked a blast that forced a leaping save from Sporting goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
In the 38th, Sánchez again came inches away from equalizing. Forward Andrew Wenger got behind the Sporting back line on the right wing and sent in a cross that Sánchez ran onto with his left foot. Unfortunately for the hosts, his volley banged off the right post and away from danger.
Goalkeeper Tyler Deric came up with a massive save at point-blank range in the 43rd minute to keep the Dynamo within a goal going into intermission. After a cross from midfielder Latif Blessing, Sporting forward Daniel Salloi rifled a shot from inside the six-yard box but Deric positioned himself well to parry the shot away.
In the 53rd minute, Deric once again came up with a big save to keep the Dynamo close. Salloi found space 35 yards from Houston’s goal and laid off a pass to captain Roger Espinoza, who hit a through ball to Gerso behind the defense. The forward took a first-touch shot from 10 yards out, but Deric was again well positioned for the save.
Dynamo captain Ricardo Clark, making his 316th career start to move into the league’s all-time top ten, had a clear look at goal in the 55th minute when he received a pass from DeLaGarza 12 yards from goal and cracked a left-footed volley that whistled high of the target.
In the 59th, Sánchez combined with forward Mauro Manotas to get Manotas in behind the Kansas City back line, but the Colombian was unable to stay over his right-footed volley, sending it over the crossbar.
Manotas created the first dangerous chance for the Dynamo in the 25th minute when he fired a bouncing right-footed shot that forced a save from Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Manotas received a pass along the left flank and cut in on his right foot, driving across the top of the penalty area before finding room to get off a shot.
Prior to kickoff, the Dynamo paid their respects to the family of forward Erick Torres, whose father passed away last week, with a moment of silence; and during the match, every member of the team and coaching staff wore a black armband in Luis German Torres Neri’s memory.
The club faces a quick turnaround as they head to Kansas City to play a return leg in this in-season home-and-home series on Sunday, Oct. 15 before closing out the regular season at home next Sunday, Oct. 22 against the Chicago Fire at 3 p.m (TICKETS).
Houston Dynamo (12-10-10, 46 pts.) 2-1 Sporting Kansas City (12-8-12; 48 pts.)
MLS Week 33
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
SKC: Jimmy Medranda 2 (Gerso Fernandes 3) 32
HOU: Tomás Martínez 2 (unassisted) 63
HOU: Erik Palmer-Brown (own goal) 77
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Philippe Senderos, Leonardo, Dylan Remick (Jalil Anibaba 90+4); Ricardo Clark (C), Eric Alexander (Alex 78), Tomás Martínez; Vicente Sánchez (Erick Torres 73), Mauro Manotas Andrew Wenger
Unused Substitutes: Joe Willis, Kevin Garcia, Joseph Holland, Charlie Ward
Total shots: 9 (Mauro Manotas 3); Shots on goal: 4 (Tomas Martinez 2); Fouls: 19 (Vicente Sanchez 3);Offside: 5 (Vicente Sanchez 2); Corner kicks: 1 (Vicente Sanchez); Saves: 4 (Tyler Deric 4)
Sporting Kansas City: Andrew Dykstra; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Ike Opara, Erik Palmer-Brown, Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza (C); Gerso Fernandes (Diego Rubio 73), Jimmy Medranda, Daniel Salloi; Latif Blessing (Kharlton Belmar 84)
Unused Substitutes: Adrian Zendejas, Amer Didic, Cristian Lobato, James Musa, Soni Mustiva
Total shots: 15 (Seth Sinovic 3); Shots on goal: 5 (Seth Sinovic 2); Fouls: 16 (Illie Sanchez and Roger Espinoza tied with 3); Offside: 3 (Latif Blessing 3); Corner kicks: 8 (Jimmy Medranda 5); Saves: 3 (Andrew Dykstra 3)
HOU: Ricardo Clark (caution; foul) 45
HOU: Andrew Wenger (caution; time wasting) 79
SKC: Illie Sanchez (caution; Extra flag to checker) 87
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Garner
4th Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Jon Freemon