Houston, Texas: The Houston Dynamo will host top-seeded Portland Timbers in Leg 1 of the Conference Semifinals on Monday after beating Sporting Kansas City 1-0 tonight. After a goalless 90 minutes, Midfielder Alberth Elis broke the deadlock in First half of extra time (94th minute), giving Houston Dynamo the lone goal to make it a 1-0 win as the Houston Dynamo, the fourth seed in the Western Conference, played host to Sporting Kansas City tonight, Thursday, October 26 at 8:30 p.m. in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, #HOUvSKC , at BBVA Compass Stadium. This would be the eleventh goal of the season by Alberth Elis.
The Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round vs. Sporting Kansas City is a single elimination round with the winner advancing to face the Portland Timbers or Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Semifinals (home and home two game series).
The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City met for the third time in two weeks on Thursday, but this time, the stakes were higher than ever.
After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer Dynamo substitute Vicente Sanchez who entered the match in the 87th minute, made a stellar run down the right in the 94th minute. After beating his man to the line, Sanchez picked out Alberth Elis for what would prove to be the winner.
Sanchez should have doubled the lead in the 104th minute, when Elis returned the favor, but took his shot first time and pushed it woefully wide of the mark.
The former Toluca star got another chance with the last kick of the game, having won a penalty with a late run, but saw his spot kick saved.
Sporting KC committed numbers forward in search of an equalizer, and Salloi was first to test Deric in the 97th minute only to see his right-footed attempt saved. Ten minutes later, Zusi’s 25-yard drive was pushed aside by Deric before Cristian Lobato’s curler lacked the placement and pace to beat the Dynamo gloveman.
Referee Mark Geiger awarded Houston a penalty in the 123rd minute when Dykstra clipped Sanchez on the breakaway, but the Sporting KC goalkeeper atoned by saving Sanchez’s ensuing spot kick to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Dynamo advance to the Western Conference semifinals face the top-seeded Portland Timbers.
It’s another playoff failure for Sporting KC, with the club having lost in the knockout round every year since winning the MLS Cup in 2013.
The Dynamo clinched the fourth-seed in the West with a 3-0 home win against the Chicago Fire on Decision Day, while SKC slipped to fifth after their 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake.
Houston has only lost once in 13 MLS home playoff games (8W-3D in 90 minutes). They have kept eight clean sheets across those 13 matches.
Sporting finished the season winless in five consecutive games (3L-2D) and only scored three goals in those five matches.
Houston are now unbeaten in their last nine regular season matches against Sporting KC, including a 0-0 draw between the sides at Children’s Mercy Park on Oct. 15 and a 2-1 win for the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Oct. 11.
This was the fourth playoff meeting between Houston and SKC since 2011. Houston holds an overall edge with four wins, but Sporting KC has managed two wins and a draw in each of the last three installments
The Dynamo won the first two matchups, beating SKC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2011 and in the Eastern Conference Championship in 2012. Kansas City got a bit of revenge in 2013, when they topped the Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Championship series en route to winning MLS Cup.
Overall (regular season): Houston 10 wins (38 goals), Sporting KC 5 wins (31 goals), 11 draws
At Houston (regular season): Houston 6 wins (21 goals), Sporting KC 3 wins (15 goals), 5 draws
Earlier tonight, in the MLS Cup first-round knockout match tonight between Atlanta United and Columbus Crew SC, Columbus won 3-1 on penalties, after a 0-0 draw, to eliminate Atlanta from playoff contention.
Atlanta had a chance to draw first blood in the eleventh minute, but Miguel Almiron’s attempt from distance rang off the woodwork in a bid to make it 1-0 Atlanta. In the 19th, following a corner kick, Chris Mccann’s attempt from outside the box was tipped over the bar by Zack Steffen.
It turned out to be foreshadowing for what was to come in this match, as we had plenty of twists and turns over the entirety of the night.
And Columbus appeared to make it 1-0 on this goal in the 40th minute, but it turned out to be called offside on a controversial decision. Was it? You decide.
After extra time, it moved to penalties, where it all came crashing down for Atlanta.
Julian Gressel’s miss was followed by Gonzalo Higuain’s make in the first round, while both Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Kekuta Manneh saw their shots stopped on their respective chances. After both Tito Villalba and Niko Hansen made their opportunities in round three, Jeff Larentowicz rang one off the post, setting up Adam Jahn’s match decider to send Columbus on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against New York City FC.