MLS Eastern Conference Final 1st Leg ends all-square
Houston Dynamo 0 Sporting Kansas City 0 – 9 November
Despite creating plenty of chances everything is still to play for after neither side could find the net as the scene switches to the home ground of Sporting Kansas City in two weeks time. The home side thought they had opened the scoring after 18 minutes. Kofi Sarkodie was found with a ball in behind the visitors back-line after making an overlapping run and he finished well past Keeper Jimmy Nielsen, however everyone’s joy was short lived as their celebration were cut short by a raised flag from the assistant-referee. On a second look the decision seemed harsh as he looked at least level with the last defender. After 26 minutes Houston were dealt a further blow when Ricardo Clark could not run off an injury he had received in a collision with Bennie Feilhaber minutes earlier and he was replaced by Andrew Driver. The hosts quickly put the disruption behind them and continued to press. 2 minutes later a free-kick sent on target by Boniek Garcia was kept out by a stunning diving save by Nielsen. Sporting had chance 6 minutes before the half-time interval. A long throw from Matt Besler made it’s way to Teal Bunbury who fired a shot goal-wards that Sarkodie, back doing his day job, managed to kick clear off the goal-line. That produced a counter attack and Will Bruin went past both Chance Myers and Auerlien Collin before unleashing a thirty-five yard attempt that flew inches over bar. Bunbury had a another opportunity 12 minutes into the second-stanza but having worked a shooting chance fired tamely at Tally Hall between the Dynamo’s sticks. Cam Weaver, who had entered the action as a half-time substitute for Bruin, was the next to have a chance of being the hero, but his header off a Mike Chabala cross found Nielsen in the right place again. A further chance fell to Kansas as they looked to give themselves an advantage to take home with them, but a header from Collin flew over the bar. Both sides continued to probe but when the final whistle went after 7 minutes of stoppage time the East representative in the MLS Cup Final was no nearer to being known.
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