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Sporting KCSKC

Houston Dynamo 1, Sporting Kansas City 2 | 2020 MLS Match Recap

Led by an Alan Pulido brace, Sporting Kansas City edged the Houston Dynamo, 2-1, Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium, maintaining its status as one of the West's top teams in the process.

Though Sporting (7W-5L-2D) started strongly, most of the first half was dominated by the Dynamo. The hosts spent most of the opening 45 minutes creating scoring opportunities, and ended the first half with seven shots and three on target. All were from outside of the box, and two were from Darwin Quintero. Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia was able to meet the Dynamo's best chances, though, allowing his team to capitalize on their only shot on target.

Almost immediately after a Dynamo scoring chance in the 34th minute, Pulido scored for the visitors. Sporting won the ball, with Gianluca Busio playing a perfect pass to Pulido from within the team's half. From there, Pulido outran two Dynamo defenders to score from an angle in the penalty area.

In the second half, the Dynamo (3W-5L-7D) picked up where they left off in terms of possession, but it was Sporting stepping things up in attack. They opened up the half with a few shots, including one from Busio in the 52nd minute that went over the crossbar. The visitors got closer in the 68th minute when Pulido and Johnny Russell forced Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Maric into back-to-back saves, and the play ended with a Russell opportunity being cleared by Zarek Valentin.

Sporting eventually got the reward for their attacking pressure in the 73rd minute with Pulido's second goal, again the result of a ball played by Busio, who passed to Pulido from the edge of the penalty area, and the Mexican forward again scored from a wide angle for his 10th goal of the season.

The sides traded spells of possession for the remainder of the match, along with opportunities. Kansas City looked to close out their first win in three with a clean sheet, but defender Sam Junqua pulled one back for the Dynamo in the 84th minute from a set piece. It was enough to get the Dynamo to threaten for an equalizer, but one never came and the visitors took the three points.

Goals

  • 34' - SKC - Alan Pulido | WATCH
  • 73' - SKC - Alan Pulido | WATCH
  • 84' - HOU - Sam Junqua | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Kansas City will be happy to snap a two-match losing streak with a gritty away victory, including a strong attacking performance in the second half. The Dynamo were maybe unlucky to score in the first half, but dropped off in the second half.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Pulido and Busio combined twice for Sporting goals, but the first goal featured a special pass from Busio from within the visitors' half to Pulido, who was halfway to goal.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Pulido scored for the first time since the MLS is Back Tournament in July, and did so in dominant form with a two-goal game. SKC's strong suit was its attack in the second half, which Pulido led by scoring both of his shots and enjoying an active 80-minute shift.

Next Up

  • HOU: Wednesday, October 7 vs. FC Dallas (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
  • SKC: Wednesday, October 7 vs. Chicago Fire (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
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