Sat, 19 Jun 2021

Sporting KC aim to dominate Dynamo in Houston

Field Level Media
12 May 2021, 06:19 GMT+10

Sporting Kansas City will attempt to complete a Texas double when it travels to Houston to play the Dynamo FC on Wednesday in the first midweek match of the season for both sides.

Sporting KC heads south after a thrilling come-from-behind 2-1 home victory over expansion team Austin FC on Sunday. Sporting surrendered a goal in the early moments of the match but doggedly refused to relent, taking advantage of Austin being a man down for the final 23-plus minutes to rally to the victory.

The equalizer came in the 82nd minute from Ilie Sanchez before Sporting KC produced the winner on a header by substitute Gadi Kinda in the 90th minute as Austin just ran out of gas.

Sporting KC (2-1-1, seven points) was the aggressor throughout the win over Austin FC, racking up 25 shot attempts after totaling a combined 23 shots through its first three matches.

"What I really like is that the guys kept a good mentality going into the second half and really never gave up trying to get back into the game," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. "They were purposeful about the decisions that they made in and around the box. We kept ourselves in the game. That was the most important thing."

In Sunday's win, defender Graham Zusi set an all-time Sporting KC record with his 295th regular season appearance for the club.

Houston Dynamo FC (1-1-2, five points) return home after settling for a 1-1 draw on the road versus FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon in this season's first Texas Derby match. Offensively, Houston outshot its Lone Star State rivals 15-13, while on the other end of the pitch it blocked seven of Dallas' shots before they could reach the goal.

Houston's goal came on a penalty kick from Fafa Picault in the 34th minute. FCD produced the tying tally some eight minutes later, but the Dynamo held on to earn a point in a tough place to do so.

The Dynamo have taken points in in three of their first four matches, all against Western Conference opponents that made the MLS Cup postseason last year.

"We're hanging in there," Houston coach Tab Ramos said. "I think we're learning, and once you keep hanging in there against all the teams that in theory would be on top, it gives you the confidence that you can be on top, too. So, I'm hoping that that's sticking to us at this point."

The two teams have a storied history, with Houston owning a 12-10-13 edge in regular-season matches.

--Field Level Media

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