Recap: Sporting KC falls 2-1 to Houston Dynamo FC

Sporting Kansas City (2-5-5, 11 points) lost 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo (5-4-2, 17 points) on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park.

Daniel Saloi scored his first goal of the season as Sporting leveled on the hour mark after Houston had taken a first-half lead through Hector Herrera, but the Dinamo took the lead for good in the 78th minute behind a decisive strike from Ibrahim Aliyu.

Manager Peter Vermes fielded a starting line-up highlighted by four formidable strikers who had never started together before: Saloi, captain Johnny Russell, striker Alan Pulido and striker Willy Agada. Nemanja Radoja and Memo Rodriguez sat deep in midfield, while goalkeeper Tim Melia was protected by a backline that included Jake Davis, Andrew Fountas, Robert Voluder and Tim Leipold. Key players Dani Rosero (quad) and Remy Walter (knee) remain out with injuries, while midfielder Eric Toomey saw his streak of 57 consecutive regular season games end due to absence for personal reasons.

The hosts started the game brightly when Pulido had his first good look after 15 minutes, making a tackle 35 yards from goal and carrying the ball forward only to see his venomous shot blocked through traffic. Seconds later, Rodriguez made a brilliant effort to intercept a pass in Houston’s defensive third before firing a low shot inches wide of the far left post.

Houston threatened at the opposite end in the 22nd minute. Coco Carrasquilla found a pocket of space on the edge of the box to cut a diagonal shot to the opposite post, but Ibrahim Aliyu misjudged his attempted side shot and Sporting was cleared off the hook. His fleeting chance preceded another promising move from Sporting, as Russell fired an attractive pass from the right flank that crossed the face of goal without a finishing touch.

Herrera put the visitors in front with a neat shot in the 31st minute. A coordinated move saw Houston play a short corner kick and pass the ball down the middle to the long-time Mexico international, who was given too much space on the edge of the area to bend a 20-yard shot into the far right corner to score. His first goal. 2024 campaign.

Sporting wasted no time in responding and almost did so in stunning fashion in the 37th minute when Houston goalkeeper Steve Clarke blocked Saloi’s shot from 35 yards. Rodriguez’s strong display against his former club continued until the closing stages of the first half, as the former Dynamo man took possession of the ball aggressively and unleashed a long-range missile that Clarke was forced to throw aside.

Houston right back Griffin Dorsey came close to doubling his team’s lead three minutes into the second half, but he was unable to shoot the ball with his left foot into the frame. Sporting had a golden opportunity to beg at the other end shortly afterwards when Agada chased down a smart long ball from Rodriguez over the top and pulled his breakaway shot past Clarke and wide by the slim margins.

Saloi opened his scoring tally for 2024 with 61 minutes on the clock. Rodriguez ignited the attack by dribbling towards the goal and trying to press a pass into the penalty area. Although his initial serve was blocked, he directed the rebound into the path of Saloi, who handled the ball and turned at the top of the box before curling into the bottom left corner to score his 59th career goal for Sporting in all competitions, and the fourth-most in their history. Club history. Former Dynamo player Rodriguez picked up his captain’s third assist of the season, damaging his former employers.

Melia made two impressive saves midway through the second half, first a reflex save from Aliu’s challenge at the near post and then smothering Erik Sviatchenko’s powerful header from a corner kick.

Houston would find the winning goal with 12 minutes left in the game. Dorsey made a brilliant run from the right defensive channel into the central attacking third before playing a through ball to Aliu, who side-footed a shot past Melia for his team’s best fourth goal of the year.

Sporting had an excellent opportunity to restore parity in the 88th minute. Substitute Alinis Vargas sent a smart diagonal ball to the left side of the penalty area for Lippold to return it across the goal, and he passed it to Agada with a header on the doorstep, but Clarke somehow cleared it.

The Vermes will look to return next Saturday, May 18, with a visit to Austin FC (4-4-4, 16 points) at Q2 Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:30 PM CT with live coverage on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV.

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jake Davis, Andrew Fountas, Robert Voluder, Tim Leipold (Zorhan Bassung 90′); Nemanja Radoga, Memo Rodriguez; Johnny Russell (C) (Alinis Vargas 82), Alan Pulido (Marinos Tzionis 74), Daniel Saloi; Willy Agada (Steven Afrifa 90′)

Unused submarines: John Bolskamp, ​​Robert Castellanos, Felipe Hernandez, Kerry Shelton

Houston Dynamo: Steve Clark; Griffin Dorsey, Erik Sviatchenko, Mikael, Daniel Stries (Tate Schmidt 46′); Artur, Hector Herrera (C) (Grace Latif 70′); Coco Carrasquilla, Amin Bassi (Brad Smith 86′), Ibrahim Aliyu (Ethan Partlow 90+2′); Sebastian Kowalczyk

Unused submarines: Andrew Tarbell, Jean Gregus, Brooklyn Reigns, Mackenzie Gaines, Gabby Segal

Summary of results:
He – Hector Herrera 1 (Amin Bassi 3) 31′
SKC – Daniel Saloi 1 (Rodriguez Note 3) 61′
He — Ibrahim Aliyu 4 (Griffin Dorsey 1) 78′

Summary of misconduct:
SKC – Mimo Rodriguez (yellow card; unsportsmanlike conduct) 45′
SKC – Andrew Fountas (yellow card; unsportsmanlike behaviour) 85′
HOU – Sebastian Kowalczyk (yellow card; unsporting behaviour) 90+4′

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