Houston Dynamo FC defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in front of a sell-out crowd at Shell Energy Stadium tonight to advance to the Audi MLS Cup Western Conference Final. The Dynamo will travel to face LAFC or Seattle Sounders on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8:30 p.m. CT.
The Western Conference Final will stream live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV on Dec. 2. The Club will host watch parties throughout Houston and additional information will be available on HoustonDynamoFC.com.
With tonight’s victory, Houston has now reached eight MLS Conference Finals, and this marks the first appearance since 2017. The Dynamo end the year with a 17-3-6 (WLD) record in all competitions at Shell Energy Stadium.
Houston opened scoring in the 39th minute after captain Héctor Herrera delivered a corner to the head of defender Franco Escobar, who rose up to lift the ball past goalkeeper Tim Melia. The score marked the fourth postseason goal of his career, while Herrera recorded his second assist of the postseason.
Johnny Russell forced a save in the third minute of the game after he dribbled into the box and created space for a shot at the near post. Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark was well positioned to make the save and ultimately recover the ball. The veteran goalkeeper ended the night with three saves and earned his 13th clean sheet in all competitions this year.
Houston had its first dangerous chance in the sixth minute when forward Nelson Quiñónes took his chances from distance, but his shot went just wide of the far post.
The Dynamo almost opened scoring the 10th minute after Melia stopped another Quiñónes’shot from distance. Forward Corey Baird was in position to clean up the rebound, but his attempt was blocked by Andreu Fontàs.
Houston had another dangerous chance in the 18th minute when Quiñónes found himself with the ball on the left edge-off the six-yard box, but his strong left-footed shot went just wide of the far post.
Herrera tried to curl a shot around a defender in the 33rd minute after midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla found him at the top of the penalty box, but the ball went just wide of the right post.
Kansas City almost equalized in the 41st minute after Alan Pulido found himself in on goal, which was blocked by an onrushing Clark. Dániel Sallói found the rebound at his feet, but defender Erik Sviatchenko managed to block the shot off the line.
Houston almost added a second goal in first-half stoppage time, after forward Amine Bassi’s shot from the top of the box carried just over the crossbar. One minute later Carrasquilla’s low shot from near the penalty spot went just wide of the left post.
Baird found the ball at his feet at the top of the penalty box the 63rd minute, but a charging Melia managed to corral the ball near the penalty spot before the 27-year-old managed to get a shot off.
Clark was called into action again in the 69th minute, diving to block a powerful shot near the penalty from Sallói and keep the Dynamo in front.
Houston almost doubled its lead in the 79th minute when a Carrasquilla knocked down Herrera’s cross to Svitachenko in the box, but the Danish international’s half-volley attempt went wide of the right post.
Defender Brad Smith created a chance for the Dynamo after acrobatically keeping a ball in play near the far corner. The Australian put a low ball into the near post, but forward Aliyu Ibrahim was unable to beat Melia to the ball.
Defender Micael had a season-saving block deep into stoppage time after Sallói delivered a ball into the box to William Agada. A minute later at the other end of the pitch, Dorsey put a ball into the box from the right side, but Melia got a fingertip on the shot.
With the victory, Houston improved its all-time postseason record to 5-1 versus Kansas City.