The Houston Dynamo weathered a 2nd-minute goal that put Sporting Kansas City ahead, and thanks to a match-changing Romell Quioto brace and two follow-up Mauro Manotas goals, the Dynamo persevered for a win 4-2 at home on Wednesday night, advancing to the U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
SKC made its only shot on goal of the first half count, with Johnny Russell capping a solo run to grab the early lead for the defending Open Cup champs. But Quioto's gorgeous free kick in the 35th minute brought Houston back level, and in the 65th minute, Quioto would propel the hosts into the lead by chesting down a long Darwin Ceren pass before finishing.
Manotas would then get on the scoreboard after some false starts, initially flubbing his second straight 1-on-1 opportunity against SKC 'keeper Tim Melia, before recovering to roll one past him, for what turned out to be the winning goal. Manotas added a more artful goal in the 88th minute to seal the match, though SKC's Yohan Croizet beat Ceren to a ball in the box to get one back in stoppage time.
- 2' – SKC – Johnny Russell | WATCH
- 35' – HOU – Romell Quioto | WATCH
- 66' – HOU – Romell Quioto | WATCH
- 69' – HOU – Mauro Manotas | WATCH
- 88' – HOU – Mauro Manotas | WATCH
- 90' + 3' – SKC – Yohan Croizet | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Houston will advance to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals for the third time in its history, and the victory sets a nice tone for the next game on the Dynamo's calendar — the always-spirited Texas Derby against their FC Dallas rivals, currently holding the top seed in the West. For SKC, the USOC title defense is over earlier than they might have expected. Coach Peter Vermes will certainly have thoughts about this defensive performance to share with the team. (Judging from the tweet below, those thoughts started in the post-match press conference.)
Peter Vermes: "I think a couple guys gave up in the game."— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) July 19, 2018
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In a match with a few notable candidates, let's give it up for the Quioto free-kick equalizer. It provided the goal that Houston needed to get back into the match, and Messi, Ronaldo, or Kroos couldn't have placed it better or more authoritatively.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Even before Quioto put his stamp on the match with two goals, he was pressing the tempo, chasing down loose balls near the end line, and looking to be the most motivated player on the field.