The Houston Dynamo rallied from a goal deficit in the second half to capture a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City this evening at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Dynamo forward Alberth Elis bagged the equalizer in the 69th minute with a side-volley into the upper right corner of the net. The scoring play began when defender Maynor Figueroa, who earned Man of the Match honors with a number of crucial defensive interventions and several forays into the attack, lofted a long diagonal pass to the edge of the six-yard box. Figueroa’s cross found right back A.J. DeLaGarza, who headed the ball back to Elis for a first-touch shot into the net.
Kansas City took the lead six minutes earlier when forward Yohan Croizet beat Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist to a bouncing ball outside the box. The forward chipped the ball over Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis for the first goal of the game.
Sporting Kansas City cleared a cross from Lundkvist in the 16th minute, but the ball fell to Matias Vera outside the box. The midfielder’s effort was deflected by a teammate inside the box and the ball dipped just enough to force Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia to track the ball as it went out of play.
In the first of several ventures into the attacking third, Figueroa forced a save with a low and hard left-footed shot from outside the box in the 31st minute. Forward Mauro Manotas followed up on the second ball, but his effort was cleared at the goal line by Graham Smith.
The Dynamo almost broke through in the 47th minute when midfielder Tomás Martinez dribbled past a defender to cross the ball into the box. The cross was a few inches too high for forward Romell Quioto, who just missed the ball outside the six-yard box.
Six minutes later, Manotas funneled a pass to Quioto behind the Sporting back line, but the Honduran international’s effort was saved by Melia at the bottom corner of the far post. Elis followed up on the second ball but his shot was off target.
The Dynamo continued to push for the go-ahead goal in the 55th minute as Quioto crossed a ball into the box that found Elis at the back post. The forward’s header was off target and went just wide of the near post.
Houston had one last look at goal during stoppage time, when captain Boniek García worked free at the top of the penalty area after a give-and-go with midfielder Memo Rodriguez, but García’s shot was saved by Melia.
With the draw, the Dynamo head into the upcoming FIFA international fixture break fourth place in the Western Conference with a 7-3-3 record and 24 points. It marks the second-best record through 13 games in club history.
Following the FIFA fixture break, the Dynamo return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday, June 11 to kick off their U.S. Open Cup title defense as they host Austin Bold FC. The club’s next match in league play is Saturday, June 22 at Portland Timbers FC.