KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City’s remarkable season came to an end just one goal short on Wednesday night, as the team beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0 – but fell short of the two goals needed to advance to the MLS Eastern Conference finals.
The Dynamo, which defeated Sporting KC last year to reach the MLS Cup Final, advanced to take on either D.C. United or New York Red Bulls in the conference final on a 2-1 aggregate result.
After suffering a 2-0 loss in the semifinal opener in Houston on Sunday, Sporting KC faced a huge uphill climb heading into Wednesday’s match.
Seth Sinovic scored Sporting KC’s only goal in the 64th minute with a header on a cross from Graham Zusi, sending the crowd of 20,894 – the second-largest MLS crowd in Livestrong Sporting Park history – into a frenzy. But despite a desperate final 30 minutes, Kansas City was unable to find another goal to send the game into overtime.
Sporting KC nearly had another goal in the 73rd minute, when a shot by C.J. Sapong on a cross from Kai Kamara just cleared the crossbar. Matt Besler just missed another opportunity on a right-footed shot in the 85th minute.
Their season is over, but Sporting KC still managed to bring home some hardware in 2012. In August, Sporting won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in dramatic fashion at LSP with a 3-2 shootout victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
“We’re going to look at it and say there were some very good things,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes told reporters after the game. “But we fell short of all our goals.”