Sporting Kansas City fell 2-0 at the Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Sporting Kansas City will host the decisive return leg at 8:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in the two-game, aggregate goal series.
The first half began with no shortage of pressure from either side with action at both sides of the field. It was Houston’s physicality that paid off first with a goal in the 19th minute when Adam Moffat’s half-volley from 30 yards out sailed past goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, giving the home side the 1-0 advantage.
Sporting KC fired back in the 34th minute with a scoring chance of their own when C.J. Sapong collected the ball deep into the left corner and took an angled shot that was turned away by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
Four minutes later, the Dynamo looked to make it two when Calen Carr found Will Bruin in the box, but Bruin couldn’t connect and the ball was cleared out of danger.
The second half commenced with much of the same fervor. Jacob Peterson created an excellent opportunity for the visitors in the 51st minute with a run into the box. He sent in a low cross, skimming through the goalmouth but had no teammates in position to capitalize.
Twenty minutes later, Graham Zusi proved to be a thorn to the Dynamo’s backline when he made a run down the left, cut to the middle and shot from the top of the box only to have the effort blocked at the last second.
The 75th minute saw Houston double their lead. Carr danced his way down the left side and played in a cross to Bruin. The second-year pro, who led the team with 12 goals in the regular season and scored twice in the Knockout Round on Wednesday, made a well-timed run inside the penalty area and sent a first-time shot with precision past Nielsen.
Sporting Kansas City nearly fought their way back four minutes later when a free kick from Zusi ended at the feet of Aurelien Collin, who was ruled offside after finding himself in a dangerous position in front of net.
The Dynamo came back again in the 89th minute looking to make it three when Cam Weaver burst forward and attempted a shot from 25 yards out that was wide of the right post.
Wednesday’s match will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at LSP Box Offices.