Johnny Russell's early goal was enough for Sporting Kansas City to pick up three big points with a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park. 

Sporting KC won their third straight and stayed just outside of a playoff spot with 37 points in the Western Conference standings.

The Dynamo's winless run was extended to seven games, with Davy Arnaud still seeking his first win since being named interim manager on Aug. 14

Russell's ninth goal of the season was a header that found the far corner of the net off a cross from Graham Smith in the 12th minute. Russell almost had a brace with his free kick in the 67th minute, but Joe Willis made a diving save.

Sporting Kansas City had numerous chances early in the first half to go with Russell's finish, attacking the Dynamo's end frequently. The Dynamo got most of the opportunities in the latter part of the half and forced Tim Melia to make four saves in the first 45 minutes.

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Sporting Kansas City  1, Houston Dynamo 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap -

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  • 12' – SKC – Johnny Russell | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't easy, but Sporting KC got the three points they needed and have six games left to make their playoff push. Next week's match at Portland takes on major implications for both teams. For Houston, it's an uphill battle after another loss and another missed opportunity to keep pace in the West.

  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Houston's Christian Ramirez saw his quality bicycle kick attempt sail over the bar in the 40th minute, one of his three shots on goal.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH. Russell moved well and made the play of the night with his goal. With nod to Melia for the clean sheet.

  • Next Up

    • SKC: Saturday, Sept. 7 at Portland Timbers (10:50 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
    • HOU: Wednesday,  Sept. 11 vs. Minnesota United (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)