Sporting Kansas City saw two moments of brilliance from Gadi Kinda to set up a brace for Alan Pulido, but the Houston Dynamo struck in the waning moments of both halves as they two sides battled to a 2-2 draw Saturday night in Houston.
This result gave Sporting KC a point but kept them from gaining ground in the Western Conference.
The first twenty minutes of the match did not see much in the way of action – neither team earning significant opportunities. The first real threat came in the 24th minute when Dynamo forward Ibrahim Aliyu found himself unmarked in the center of the box as Amine Bassi sent in a cross, but Aliyu’s header didn’t have enough power on it and was collected by McIntosh to keep the score level.
It was Sporting Kansas City, however, who found the net first in the 26th minute. Andreu Fontas rushed up near midfield to meet a ball headed toward Sporting KC’s defensive half and found Gadi Kinda near the top of the box. Kinda, who drew the centerback near him as he received the ball, made an exceptional back heel pass to Alan Pulido just outside the box, giving Pulido an open berth ahead to put the ball past Steve Clark for the opening goal. It was his ninth of the season.
The Dynamo’s next best chance of the first half came in the 42nd minute when they earned a dangerous free kick about thirty five yards out. Herrera’s attempt went straight for goal and certainly had enough pace heading toward the center of the goal, but McIntosh was able push the shot over the bar. The ensuing corner kick led to another opportunity for the Dynamo, but Arturo’s attempt went over the bar and out for a goal kick.
In the dying moments of the first half, however, the Dynamo pulled level with a spectacular team goal. Coming up the wing, Franco Escobar found Hector Herrera at the top of the box, who made an exceptional back heel pass to Bassi, who gave it right back to Herrera in a give-and-go manner, bringing McIntosh out to try to get in front of the shot. Herrera, however, calmly found Aliyu who easily finished into the empty net for the equalizer. This would give the two sides each one goal heading into halftime.
The Dynamo continued their attacking nature at the beginning of the second half, putting together several dangerous opportunities which required saves by McIntosh but none leading to a goal. Sporting KC was certainly on the back foot to start the half.
In the 60th minute, Gadi Kinda was the spark once again. After receiving the ball on the wing, Kinda went one on one with Arturo near the byline, throwing a flurry of stepovers before making a cut inside leading to Arturo tripping Kinda and giving Sporting KC a penalty. Pulido calmly sent Clark the other way on the ensuing kick for his tenth of the year and gave the visitors back the lead with half an hour to play.
Hydration breaks and some extended injury breaks led to a whopping ten minutes of stoppage time, where the Dynamo put forward a final barrage. In the 92nd minute with a free kick just off the top of the box, Herrera put a shot on target that required a diving save by McIntosh. The ensuing corner kick was cleared away but the Dynamo kept pushing, and they were finally rewarded in the 98th minute.
Starting with a on-target pass all the way from the Dynamo’s defensive the half, Thorleifur Úlfarsson put a header on the ball near the top of the box, moving it towards goal. Ferreira, who was closely defended, had the wherewithal to let the ball pass through his legs, where it found Franco open at the back post to put it home for the equalizer.
The final minutes saw a little extra drama on the post-goal kickoff where Kinda apparently took his time getting the game re-started, which angered Ferreira to the point where he ran over and shoved Kinda unprovoked, knocking him to the ground and creating a melee in the center of the pitch. Ferreira somehow escaped with a yellow card, and a yellow was also given to Tim Leibold on the bench for shoving the ref with words.
After a last free kick attempt by Sporting KC sailed harmlessly out of bounds, the final whistle blew with both sides at two goals apiece. Sporting KC will take this point into their second of three matches in eight days this Wednesday at home against Real Salt Lake.