Archive for Monday, July 18, 2011

Collin’s late goal helps Sporting KC tie Houston

July 18, 2011

Sporting Kansas City's unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer matches reached 11 with a dramatic 1-1 draw Saturday at the Houston Dynamo.

Defender Aurelien Collin scored in the 90th minute to help Sporting KC escape with a tie.

Sporting KC fell behind early as Huston midfielder Brad Davis buried a free kick from 30 yards out in the eighth minute for a 1-0 lead.

Sporting KC spent the final 82 minutes trying to rally. The club unleashed a season-high 24 shots, but it took until the final minute before one of those shots found the back of the net.

Houston had a goal taken off the board in the 24th minute due to an offsides penalty on a corner kick.

Omar Bravo had two close misses in the first half for Kansas City. Sporting's best chance of the half came on a free kick by Graham Zusi that was mishandled by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, but Collin's follow-up attempt was off target.

Houston led 1-0 at intermission.

After outshooting the Dynamo 10-3 in the first half, Sporting Kansas City took full control in the second half as Houston was reduced to nine players upon seeing players sent off on two occasions by referee Kevin Stott. Colin Clark was dismissed first in the 51st minute for a two-footed, sliding tackle on Collin and Brian Ching too saw red for a challenge on Collin in the 69th minute.

Hall came through time and time again for Houston, denying C.J. Sapong’s close-range effort in the 56th minute, holding onto a header from Roger Espinoza three minutes later and smothering a deflected shot from Bravo shortly thereafter.

Sporting striker Kei Kamara tried his luck in the 75th minute with a half-volley, but hit it straight at Hall, who recorded seven saves in the draw, second-most in his MLS career.

After a flurry of missed opportunities, Sporting KC finally capitalized. A throw-in from Bravo along the right sideline was settled by Espinoza at the top of the penalty area and laid back for Collin, who had moved forward into the attack when given the opportunity in the game’s later stages. The MLS newcomer took a controlling touch prior to unleashing a left-footed shot from 30 yards out that deflected mid-flight, leaving Hall helpless in net as Sporting finally found the equalizer the team had been searching to secure for more than 80 minutes.

The goal, Collin’s third of the season, comes exactly one week after Bravo scored in the 93rd minute of Sporting Kansas City’s 1-1 draw against Chivas USA.

Sporting Kansas City improved to 5-6-8 overall and is tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference. The club has three road games remaining in 2011 and will play its next nine MLS matches at home.

Sporting KC next plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at home against Newcastle United FC of the English Premier League.

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