The Houston Dynamo dropped a hard-fought match at Sporting Kansas City Saturday night, falling 3-2 as Sporting rallied for three goals in the second half.
Goals from forward Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton in the final 31 minutes helped the hosts overcome a first-half brace from Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas that gave Houston a 2-0 lead at intermission. The match was the first of three in the next six weeks between the two old rivals, as Sporting visits Houston on July 18 in the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and again in league play on August 4.
Manotas opened the scoring just seconds after the opening whistle when midfielder Tomás Martínez pressured Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara and managed to toe poke the ball away giving a quick pass to Manotas. The Colombian striker dribbled into the penalty area, drawing the defenders and goalkeeper to him, then tucked a low left-footed pass inside the left post in the second minute of play.
Manotas bookended a dominant first half for the Dynamo with his second tally of the game, this one coming just moments before the halftime whistle. During the final minute of the half, Martínez laid the ball off to forward Romell Quioto, who spotted defender DaMarcus Beasley streaking in behind the Sporting back line and played a perfectly-weighted pass through to the U.S. international.
Beasley, playing in his career-high 99th game for the club, drove into the box before playing a pass across the front of goal to Manotas, who coolly buried the ball into the back of the net.
Sporting Kansas City came out strong in the second half, piecing together several strong attacks. The persistence paid off in 59th minute when forward Gerso Fernandes crossed the ball in front of the net to defender Jaylin Lindsey. Lindsey’s initial shot was saved by Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis but the rebound fell to Salloi, who collected the ball and shot just past Willis, cutting the deficit in half.
Houston continued to repel Sporting attacks for the next 15 minutes, but five minutes from full time, Salloi slipped a pass to Rubio, who had just come on as a substitute, and the Chilean collected and fired past Willis to level the match.
Midfielder Eric Alexander drew a second yellow card in the 87th minute when he was late on a slide tackle near midfield on Sporting midfielder Ilie Sanchez. Up a man, Sporting ramped up the pressure and found the game-winner a minute later through Shelton off a low cross from Salloi.
The Dynamo will return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday, June 29 for the annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup against Mexican giants CF Monterrey. Kickoff in that match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT. Individual tickets for the game are available online at HoustonDynamo.com, by phone at 713-276-GOAL and at the BBVA Compass Stadium box office.
Sporting Kansas City (9-2-5; 32 pts.) 3-2 Houston Dynamo (6-6-3; 21pts)
MLS Regular Season Week 17
June 23, 2018 – Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS
HOU: Mauro Manotas 7 (Tomás Martínez 5) 2
HOU: Mauro Manotas 8 (DaMarcus Beasley 1, Romell Quioto 7) 45
SKC: Daniel Salloi 5 (Johnny Russell 4) 61
SKC: Diego Rubio 3 (Daniel Salloi 5, Johnny Russell 5) 85
SKC: Khiry Shelton 2 (Daniel Salloi 6) 88
SPORTING KANSAS CITY: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Graham Smith, Jaylin Lindsey; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza ©; Yohan Croizet (Diego Rubio 85), Johnny Russell, Gerso Fernandes (Khiry Shelton 76); Daniel Salloi
Unused subs: Adrian Zendejas, Seth Sinovic, Amer Didic, Wan Kuzain, Kharlton Belmar
Total shots: 22 (Daniel Salloi 4); Shots on goal: 9 (Gerso Fernandes, Daniel Salloi 2); Fouls: 8 (Johnny Russell 3); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 8 (Johnny Russell 4); Saves: 4 (Tim Melia 4)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Adam Lundkvist, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Philippe Senderos, DaMarcus Beasley ©; Eric Alexander, Tomás Martínez, Boniek Garcia; Alberth Elis (Leonardo 81), Mauro Manotas (Memo Rodriguez 90+1), Romell Quioto (Luis Gil 73)
Unused subs: Arturo Alvarez, Kevin Garcia, Jared Watts, Chris Seitz
Total shots: 17 (Romell Quioto 5); Shots on goal: 6 (Mauro Manotas 3); Fouls: 14 (Boniek García 4); Offside: 2 (Mauro Manotas 2); Corner kicks: 4 (Boniek García 3); Saves: 6 (Joe Willis 6)
HOU: Eric Alexander (caution; foul) 23
SKC: Roger Espinoza (caution; foul) 27
HOU: Joe Willis (caution; delay of game) 55
HOU: Eric Alexander (second caution; foul) 87
HOU: Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution; foul) 90+2
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referee 1: Logan Brown
Assistant Referee 2: Brian Dunn
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Jon Freemon