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Houston Dynamo rally for 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City

Alberth Elis leveled for the Houston Dynamo six minutes after Yohan Croizet gave Sporting Kansas City the lead

HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo were able to keep their ‘unbeaten at home’ title against Sporting Kansas City with a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday.

Alberth Elis scored the equalizer for the Dynamo in the 69th minute, six minutes after Yohan Croizet put Sporting Kansas City in front. 

During the first half, it was Sporting Kansas City (3-5-6, 15 points) controlling the tempo and opening spaces, while the Dynamo (7-3-3, 24 points) showed little to no explosiveness during the first 40 minutes. However, just before the halftime whistle, La Naranja started to show interest in scoring, but didn’t created clear chances and went into the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.

“This was very difficult, very complicated,” Dynamo midfielder Romell Quioto said. “We had to perform at a very high level for the full 90 minutes and you could see that the team was set on going forward. We wanted to play our game and win. The game went in a different direction, but we got a draw and that point is valuable.”

In the 53rd minute, Quioto took a powerful shot saved by SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia, who cleared directly to Elis, who quickly shot toward the far post, but missed by a few inches. 

Ten minutes later, Sporting took the lead when Croizet swiftly surpassed Dynamo defense Adam Lundqvist to chip the ball in the net.

Houston responded six minutes later as left back A. J. DeLaGarza headed the ball down perfectly to Elis, who put the ball into net with a side volley, quickly changing the mood at BBVA Compass Stadium.

“Yes, we just couldn’t keep the ball and they came out playing and it was challenging for us to recover the ball,” Elis said. “So we were in a position where we had to run more than what we anticipated. That didn’t help us, it was a bad mix between not having the ball and running more to try to win possession.”

Although the Dynamo rallied to earn a point, it wasn’t their best effort and they will need to regroup in order to get back to where they were a couple of games back.

Jun 1, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Fans make their way to their seats before the Houston Dynamo play the Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

They’ll have time to analyze as they enter their Gold Cup break from league play. Their next MLS game isn’t until June 22 when they face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, but they will shift their focus on defending their US Open Cup title when they host the Austin Bold on June 11. 

Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera was not at all happy how referee Kevin Stott handled the game and he was not shy to express what he felt after the match. 

“Today was really embarrassing how the players noticed that they could waste time — dive, delay, everything and the referee didn’t care,” Cabrera said. “It was embarrassing because the fans, they come to watch a good game of soccer, but the referee Kevin Stott today wasn’t up to the level.”

“He allowed them to waste a lot of time and in this sport, you can win, you can tie, you can lose, but the referee needs to do the right things and today, I don’t think he was up to the level for this game,” Cabrera added.

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