Recap: Sporting KC eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs despite 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo

Seth Sinovic scores first career MLS goal but Sporting KC falls 2-1 on aggregate
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 20,894
Weather: 45 degrees and clear
 
Score                                               
1
2
F
Sporting Kansas City (1-1-0)
0
1
1
Houston Dynamo (2-1-0)
0
0
0
 
      
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Oriol Rosell, Roger Espinoza, Peterson Joseph; C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara, Graham Zusi
 
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum, Dom Dwyer, Bobby Convey, Jacob Peterson, Michael Thomas
 
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe; Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis© (Luiz Camargo 84); Calen Carr (Macoumba Kandji 33),  Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 74)
 
Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Giles Barnes, Brian Ching, Warren Creavalle
 
Stats:              
KC
HOU
Shots
20
3
Shots on Goal
4
1
Saves
1
3
Fouls
14
14
Offside
2
0
Corner Kicks
5
0
 
 
Misconduct Summary:
KC – Graham Zusi (caution; persistent infringement) 26
HOU — Boniek Garcia (caution; reckless foul) 41
KC — Chance Myers (caution; tactical foul) 56
HOU — Corey Ashe (caution; reckless foul) 84
 
Scoring Summary:
KC – Seth Sinovic 1 (Graham Zusi 1, Kei Kamara 1) 64
 
 
(November 7, 2012) – Sporting Kansas City was eliminated from the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs on Wednesday, falling 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Seth Sinovic, a Leawood, Kan. native, scored his first career MLS goal in the 64th minute in front of 20,894 fans, the second-largest crowd in stadium history. 
 
After a 2-0 loss on Sunday at Houston, Sporting Kansas City came out needing two goals to level the two-game series. The home side’s first notable chance game in the 8th minute when Graham Zusi swung in a near-perfect ball to the unmarked Kei Kamara, but the Sierra Leone international’s header flashed just inches wide of the goal. 

Five minutes later, Sporting KC’s tireless work rate continued when Chance Myers crossed in the ball from the right to Kamara, who headed the ball on target but safely into the hands of goalkeeper Tally Hall.

Sporting nearly went up a goal in the 19th minute when Roger Espinoza slotted in a low pass across goal to C.J. Sapong, who shot from 18 yards out but straight at Hall. Just seven minutes later, Myers played a through ball to Kamara, whose close-range shot was goal-bound but booted out in the box.   

 
Houston attempted only three shots in the match, all in the first half, with their best look coming in the 45th minute of play when Will Bruin received a throw-in, turned and fired low from 25 yards just wide of the left post. 

Despite Sporting Kansas City's relentless attack, the Dynamo defense held strong and the teams went into half time tied 0-0 with Sporting KC trailing 2-0 in aggregate.

 
The second half commenced with the same fervor as the first, with another chance for Sporting KC in the 47th minute when Myers directed a cross to Sapong. The 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year sent a glancing header narrowly over the crossbar. Sporting KC nearly broke through in the 63rd minute when Peterson Joseph struck a shot from 15 yards, but it was just wide of the near post. 

Sporting Kansas City’s playoff dreams were lifted one minute later when Kamara charged into the box and nodded the ball off to Zusi, who made a superb cross to Seth Sinovic at the far post. Sinovic threw his body into the diving header for his first career goal in his 75th appearance in MLS competition (including playoffs).

Ten minutes later, Sapong nearly netted a second goal for the home side when he collected a well-placed cross from Kamara, but Sapong’s shot floated inches over the crossbar. Sporting Kansas City would continue to send numbers forward in search of the series-tying goal to force extra time, concluding the game with 20 shots (second most in club history for the postseason) and 71 percent of the possession, but the final whistle blew after four minutes of stoppage time and Sporting Kansas City saw their season ended at home by the Dynamo for the second straight season.

 
Houston will advance to the Eastern Conference Championship to take on the winner between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United, whose game was postponed on Wednesday due to inclement weather.
 
FAST FACTS
  • Sporting Kansas City earned a 1-0 victory at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Wednesday night. After falling 2-0 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Sporting Kansas City will not advance to the next round with the aggregate score in favor of the Houston Dynamo 2-1. 
  • Houston will face the winner of D.C. United versus the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Championship.
  • Sporting Kansas City's starting lineup on Wednesday had just two changes from the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship versus the Houston Dynamo, with Oriol Rosell in for Julio Cesar and Peterson Joseph in for Jacob Peterson.
  • Rosell’s start in Wednesday’s playoff match was his first start in an MLS playoff match since joining Kansas City in the middle of the 2012 MLS season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 4-9-6 against the Houston Dynamo all-time (including playoffs)
  • Tonight’s victory for Sporting Kansas City ended a three-game losing streak against the Houston Dynamo during the MLS Cup Playoffs and snapped a five-game winless streak in MLS competition (including playoffs) against the Dynamo.
  • Seth Sinovic scored the game-winning goal in tonight’s match. Sinovic has appeared is 75 career MLS matches (including playoffs) and tonight’s goal was the first of his MLS career. The tally came in the 64th minute of Wednesday’s match.
  • Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara earned assists on Sinovic’s goal.
  • Zusi now has tallied 16 assists in 2012 MLS competition including playoffs, most among all MLS players. The assist marks Zusi’s third assist in five playoff appearances.
  • The assist is Kamara’s ninth during the 2012 MLS season (including playoffs) and marks Kamara’s first assist during the MLS Cup Playoffs in seven career postseason appearances, five of which were with Kansas City.
  • Will Bruin scored three goals in two postseason games prior to Wednesday's match. Sporting Kansas City held Bruin scoreless in Wednesday’s match.
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 1-3-0 against the Houston Dynamo in MLS Cup Playoffs, falling by 2-0 scorelines in each of the first three postseason meetings prior to Wednesday.
  • Sporting KC has now been eliminated by the Dynamo in the 2007 Western Conference Championship, the 2011 Eastern Conference Championship and the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • Prior to Wednesday’s match, the Houston Dynamo were the only team that Sporting Kansas City had lost to during the 2012 season of the teams that remained in the MLS Cup playoffs.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 13-4-2 all-time at home during the playoffs and 2-1-0 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • Wednesday’s shutout marked Sporting Kansas City’s 14th shutout in postseason history.
  • Sporting Kansas City has scored 49 goals during the MLS Cup playoffs and has allowed 50 all-time.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 15-17-5 all-time in 37 all-time postseason appearances.
  • Wednesday marks the third time in club history that Sporting Kansas City has held an opponent to one shot on goal during playoffs.
  • Sporting Kansas City took 20 shots on Wednesday, second most in a postseason match in club history.
  • With the win, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes improves to 3-2-0 in the postseason. His .600 winning percentage in the playoffs is the best among KC coaches all-time.
  • Sporting KC has scored 32 goals in playoff matches at home and conceded 15.
  • Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo met three times during the regular season in 2012. In addition to the 2-1 loss at BBVA Compass Stadium in July, the two clubs played to a scoreless draw on July 7 and a 1-1 draw most recently on September 14 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 14-6-2 when scoring the first goal during the playoffs, making their winning percentage .681 when scoring the first goal in a postseason match.
  • Sporting Kansas City made zero substitutions in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • Sporting Kansas City outshot the Houston Dynamo 20-3 in Wednesday’s match.
  • Sporting Kansas City had four shots on goal and the Houston Dynamo had one shot on goal in the entire match.
  • Sporting Kansas City out-possessed the Houston Dynamo 71% to 29% in Wednesday’s match.
  • Jimmy Nielsen has played in 5,490 straight minutes of MLS action (including playoffs).
  • Sporting Kansas City has gone 65 consecutive MLS matches (including playoffs) without conceding a goal on a corner kick, dating back to 5/21/11 at Seattle.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 25-3-8 all-time with the backline of Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin starting in defense in all competition.
  • Two of those three losses have come against the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Houston are participating in the postseason for the sixth time in the team's seven seasons.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear's 12 playoff victories rank fourth most in MLS history.
  • At 35 years and 93 days old, Jimmy Nielsen became the oldest goalkeeper in club history to appear in and start a postseason match, surpassing marks previously held by Tony Meola.
  • LIVESTRONG Sporting Park hosted 20,894 fans at Wednesday’s match, second most fans at LSP all-time behind only the September 28th match against the Chicago Fire which welcomed 21, 010 fans.
  • Graham Zusi committed five fouls in Wednesday’s match setting himself a new career high in fouls committed previously set at four.
  • Calen Carr left the match in the 33rd minute with a left leg injury.