It was a tale of two halves on Saturday night: The Houston Dynamo dominated the first half with a Mauro Manotas brace, but Khiry Shelton completed an incredible second-half comeback, scoring an 88th-minute game winner, as Sporting Kansas City won 3-2 before a subdued and then boisterous home crowd at Children's Mercy Park.
The Dynamo pounced on an uncharacteristic Ike Opara giveaway less than 90 seconds into the match, with Tomas Martinez setting Manotas up for the finish. Manotas would make it 2-0 right before halftime, on a play in which Opara clattered Martinez, freeing the ball for an advantage play that was successfully converted.
But the second half brought a completely different SKC. Daniel Salloi, who looked threatening from the get-go, hammered a rebound home in the 59th minute to start the comeback. Then, in the 85th minute, seconds after being subbed on, Diego Rubio brought SKC level.
It would get worse for the Dynamo: After Eric Alexander got sent off with his second yellow card in the 87th minute, SKC capitalized, with Salloi setting up Shelton — who subbed on in the 76th minute — for the deciding goal.
- 2' – HOU – Mauro Manotas | WATCH
- 45' – HOU – Mauro Manotas | WATCH
- 59' – SKC – Daniel Salloi | WATCH
- 85' – SKC – Diego Rubio | WATCH
- 88' – SKC – Khiry Shelton | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't easy, but SKC kept its hold on the West lead, and got a great victory revealing the team's collective character. Houston, on the other hand, will feel heartbreak in a match they appeared to have put away by halftime — missing an opportunity to break back into a playoff spot with a result.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In a match with multiple pivot points, give it to Rubio's goal, which set up SKC to at least get a result from their second-half pressure, and gave them the lift to push for the winner.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Salloi didn't quit throughout a frustrating first half, got his team on the board, and provided the assist for the game winner. Manotas may have held on to this honor with his brace had the teams finished level, but given the final score, this has to tip Salloi's direction.