Sporting Kansas City extended the club’s home unbeaten streak to 14 games (10-0-4) across all competitions, tying the club record, with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Dom Dwyer scored in his sixth straight game against Houston on Benny Feilhaber’s 11th assist of the season, second most in MLS.
Dwyer opened the scoring in the sixth minute, winning a foul along the right sideline and then heading home the ensuing free kick from Feilhaber.
Dwyer held off Ricardo Clark and directed a glancing header inside the far post from eight yards out to move into a share of the team lead with seven regular season goals on the season.
The goal was Sporting Kansas City’s third quickest of the team’s 2015 MLS campaign, but would be the team’s only shot in the first half.
On the opposite end, Houston nearly responded five minutes later as Sheanon Williams threaded a through ball for Will Bruin.
Tim Melia raced off his line in the one-on-one situation to win the ball in a play that was originally whistled for a penalty by referee Jorge Gonzalez before being overturned by assistant referee Corey Parker.
Williams again played the part of provider in the 28th minute, delivering a pinpoint cross for Clark from the right flank.
An 11-year MLS veteran, Clark was a step ahead of Kevin Ellis but pushed his shot wide under pressure from the Homegrown defender.
Melia made four saves on Saturday and his best save of the match came in the 32nd minute to deny Brad Davis’ long-range effort.
The Dynamo captain unleashed a left-footed from 30 yards out that Melia extended low to his right to keep out of the net.
Dwyer nearly scored his second of the night in the 49th minute on a corner kick taken by Graham Zusi, who made his return to the Sporting KC lineup on Saturday after representing the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Dwyer’s diving header connected with the cross moments after the ball skipped off the playing surface but the shot was cleared off the goal line by DaMarcus Beasley.
Sporting Kansas City continued to create scoring chances in their bid to double the lead and threatened in the 57th minute as Zusi and Roger Espinoza teamed up to beat Houston’s offside trap.
Espinoza dribbled toward net with only Tyler Deric to beat until David Horst intervened at the final second with a sliding recovery.
The Dynamo defense came up big again in the 74th minute. Krisztian Nemeth beat Raul Rodriguez inside the penalty area before slipping a pass square to Dwyer, whose shot was blocked by Horst to keep Houston’s hopes for a comeback alive.
The intervention proved timely when Houston scored the game-tying goal four minutes later, canceling out the Sporting KC lead through a set piece of their own.
Davis whipped a free kick to the top of the six-yard box where Clark rose high to snap his header between Melia and Soni Mustivar.
Clark now has five goals in 2015, a new MLS single-season career high, while Davis – Major League Soccer’s active assists leader (118) — collected the 100th regular season assist of his Houston career.
The equalizer set up a final 10 minutes filled with drama and controversy, but ultimately no game-winning goal for either side. Nemeth nearly found the break through in the 82nd minute only to see Deric smother his shot for the goalkeeper’s lone save of the night.
Houston was then reduced to 10 players, for the third time this season against Sporting KC, when Nathan Sturgis was sent off for his sliding challenge on Espinoza in midfield.
Sporting KC surged forward with the man advantage and were inches from taking the lead in the 93rd minute when Nemeth was ruled offside and his goal – a superbly taken first-time volley – was disallowed.
Just over a minute later, the referee crew took no action when Matt Besler’s long throw bounced into the arm of second-half substitute Luis Garrido inside the penalty area.
Gonzalez, positioned yards from the incident, waved off the appeals for a penalty kick and later explained that the contact was not deliberate as the player’s arm was judged to be in a natural playing position.
Saturday’s draw leaves Sporting KC in fourth place in the Western Conference entering Week 23 when the club travels to face Toronto FC at 3 p.m. on Saturday at BMO Field.
The match will air live locally on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with three hours of on site coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m.
– Story from Sporting KC