St. Louis CITY SuperDraft pick scores late winner in Concacaf Champions Cup

STL-HOU recap_Concacaf Champions Cup_2.20.24

Hosei Kijima's 90th-minute goal was the difference as St. Louis CITY SC defeated Houston Dynamo FC, 2-1, in the lone all-MLS matchup of Round One in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

On the day it was announced Kijima signed with CITY SC, the Japan-born midfielder who was picked No. 17 overall (first round) in the MLS SuperDraft provided the late heroics in Tuesday night's Leg 1 at CITYPARK.

The second-half substitute won a challenge in the box to latch onto Célio Pompeu's deflected cross and slipped the winner inside the far post to ensure St. Louis’ first-ever CCC match was a successful one.

Tim Parker (61') put the hosts in front with a headed finish from outside the six-yard box after latching onto Indiana Vassilev's free kick. But Sebastian Kowalczyk (72') leveled for Houston when he deposited Ibrahim Aliyu's sublime low cross past Roman Bürki.

Earlier, Houston appeared to score a 26th-minute opener when Aliyu sent a first-time finish between Bürki's legs following Coco Carrasquilla's clipped back-post service. But following Video Review, the goal was called back for Carrasquilla being offside in the buildup.

Leg 2 is set for Feb. 27 at Houston's Shell Energy Stadium, with the aggregate winner advancing to meet the Columbus Crew in the CCC Round of 16.


  • 61’ - STL - Tim Parker | WATCH
  • 72’ - HOU - Sebastian Kowalczyk | WATCH
  • 90’ - STL - Hosei Kijima | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Is there any clearer sign the system is the DP for St. Louis than an MLS SuperDraft selection scoring a winner in the club's Concacaf Champions Cup debut? For Houston, the result adds insult to injury after DP striker Sebastián Ferreira was stretchered off the field in the 23rd minute with a right leg injury.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: At the death and as cool as you like.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: It’s a day Kijima won’t soon forget. A few months removed from balling for Wake Forest in the ACC, the 21-year-old signed with the second-year MLS squad. He started his Tuesday by officially turning pro and ended it with a CCC winner. Not bad.

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