KANSAS CITY, Kan. – After a night of frustration, C.J. Sapong finally found the net – and salvaged a point for Sporting Kansas City.
Sapong's first eight shots either missed the mark or were stopped – twice in spectacular fashion – by Houston's Tally Hall. But in the third minute of stoppage time Friday night, on his ninth try at goal, Sapong buried a header that gave Sporting a 1-1 draw against the Dynamo.
Graham Zusi,who fed Sapong for the late equalizer, moved into a tie for the league lead with his 13th assist, alongside Seattle's Mauro Rosales.
Houston, playing without manager Dominic Kinnear and midfielder Calen Carr, were denied a chance to jump to within two points of the Eastern Conference lead.
Instead, East leaders Sporting (15-7-6) extended their unbeaten streak to six matches and held Houston (12-7-10) without a win for the fifth time in six matches.
The Dynamo thought they had it won on Brad Davis' 58th-minute goal and seven saves from Tally Hall, who came within seconds of what would have been his league-leading 12th clean sheet. But in the third of the four additional minutes, Sapong connected on Graham Zusi's cross, putting the ball just inside the left post and keeping the visitors on 46 points.
Manager Dominic Kinnear and midfielder Calen Carr – who had a brace in Houston's 2-1 home victory over Sporting on July 18 – were suspended for Friday's match for an ejection in Houston's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake and yellow card accumulation, respectively.
But for a while, it seemed that wouldn't matter as Hall stoned the home side until the death and Davis put the visitors ahead against the run of play shortly before the hour mark.
He took Boniek Garcia's pass in the middle of the attacking third, worked to his left to get into space, and put his shot past a screened Jimmy Nielsen and inside the far post.
Giles Barnes made his MLS debut for Houston in the 81st minute, when he was subbed on for Macoumba Kandji.
Sporting return to action on Wednesday at New York, while the Dynamo are off until traveling to Philadelphia on Sept. 23.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Tally Hall||Kept Houston in it with two great first-half saves on Sapong and confident goalkeeping throughout the game|
|2||C.J. Sapong||Was not to be denied, heading home the equalizer in stoppage time after a tireless 90 minutes of work|
|3||Brad Davis||Kept his cool in the middle of the park under relentless KC pressure and scored a beauty of a goal that almost stood as the winner|